A Night at the Opera

October 2, 2007

One of the joys of living in this city is having the ability (at least once in a while) to spend a night at the opera.

This evening I visited the Metropolitan Opera, America’s largest classical music organization and one of the world’s greatest opera companies. Founded in 1880, the Met isn’t simply a venue for great voices; it is also an institution dedicated to growing the next generation of opera-lovers.

Sadly, most American schoolchildren learn little to nothing about opera, so the Met has taken on a great educational mission. The company employs many methods to make opera afforable, accessible and fun, including discount seating for students, backstage tours and simultaneous translation of lyrics displayed on small, individual screens affixed to the back of every seat.

Tonight was the season premiere of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The opera is based on the second of three plays that Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais wrote about Figaro, a hilariously subversive servant in a royal palace; the first in the triology is Le Barbier de Seville (The Barber of Seville) and the last La Mère Coupable (The Guilty Mother).

The show is long, very sexy and very, very funny. But even if the show wasn’t superb (it is), the setting couldn’t be finer.

Located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Opera House is famed for the soaring arches of its white marble facade, the large, colorful murals by Marc Chagall displayed in the lobby, and an enormous gilded proscenium from which hangs the a massive sweep of golden fabric, the largest theatre curtain in the world.

The front of the Opera House

Reading Figaro posters at Lincoln Center

The fountain in front of the Opera House

Lincoln Center
The Metropolitan Opera
Metropolitan Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro
Metropolitan Opera: Synopsis of Le Nozze di Figaro
Metropolitan Opera Shop
Metropolitan Opera Guild
Metropolitan Opera Guild Education Department
Opera News
Guggenheim Collection: Marc Chagall
Britannica: Marc Chagall
A Night at the Opera

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