Metropolitan Opera

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Metropolitan Opera

 

the leading opera company in the United States. It was formed in New York in 1883. Its original theater was designed by the architect J. K. Cady and seated 3,625 people. The Metropolitan performs seven months a year. The construction of the opera house was financed by a joint stock company, the Metropolitan Opera and Real Estate Company. The opera is subsidized by large firms, foundations, and private individuals. The chorus, the orchestra, and the auxiliary staff are permanent, but the soloists and the conductors are invited on contract for seasons or for individual performances. Operas are performed in the original language.

The Metropolitan Opera rarely stages works by Americans or by contemporary composers of other countries; its repertoire focuses on such world classics as operas by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Wagner, Gounod, Bizet, Mozart, and R. Strauss. Russian operas, such as Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin, and Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), are popular.

The world’s greatest singers have performed at the Metropolitan Opera. They include S. Arnoldson, E. Caruso, F. I. Chaliapin, E. Destinn, L. Bori, B. Gigli, A. Galli-Curci, and T. Ruffo. Since the 1950’s the great artists at the Metropolitan have included M. del Monaco, B. Nilsson, L. Price, T. Gobbi, B. Khristov (Christoff), L. Rysanek, R. Scotto, J. Sutherland, R. Tebaldi, C. Ludwig, G. London, and N. Giaurov, as well as the Soviet artists P. G. Lisitsian, G. P. Vishnevskaia, and M. L. Bieshu.

Performances have been directed by the world’s leading conductors, including F. Mottl, G. Mahler, A. Toscanini, D. Mitropoulos, K. Böhm, L. Stokowski, L. Bernstein, Z. Mehta, and H. von Karajan.

In September 1966 the opera company moved to a new building at Lincoln Center. The new opera house, which seats 3,800 people, has the most modern facilities and first-rate acoustics. The high price of tickets makes the theater inaccessible to a broad audience.

REFERENCES

Romadinova, D. “Muzyka i muzykanty Ameriki, III—’Metropolitenopera,’” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1969, no. 8.
Seltsam, W. H. Metroplitan Opera Annales. New York [1949].

L. G. GRIGOR’EV

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