by Alia Tawil



The Metropolitan Opera


A flurry of heels and gowns swishes across the lobby as ushers urge everyone forward. Ties swing through the closing doors as the last ticket holders allowed smile in relief.  Thousands of plush red velvet seats unfold across all six tiers toward the glossy wood-paneled walls that soar overhead toward the dazzling Swarovski crystal chandelier. It’s a night at the Met.

In recent years, opera has made resurgence in society. Under the management of General Manager Peter Gelb, the Met has revived efforts to attract a broader audience. Tickets generally range in price up to $375, but now, standing room is offered for only $20 on the day of a performance. In addition, live broadcasts occur four times a week on the 24 hour opera channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, and HD performances are shown in movie theaters across the country. Opera has never been so accessible.

Along with these newer initiatives, some old practices are still going strong. For more than 40 years, performances have been given in Central Park for free during the summer months.

The Met has been delighting audiences since its inception in 1883. Originally on 39th and Broadway, the Met found its new home at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1966. The current stage has been honored with world renowned artists in many disciplines, from Maria Callas and Luciano Pavoratti to Robin Williams.

Each season at the Met boasts over 200 performances of both repertory operas and contemporary commissioned pieces. This year’s highlights include favorites like Il Barbiere de Siviglia, La Traviata, Peter Grimes, La Boheme, and premieres such as Satyagraha, the story of Gandhi. With such strong leadership, history, artistry, and appeal, we can be sure that the Met will continue to delight audiences for years to come.


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© Melt Magazine 2007