Metropolitan Opera House (39th Street)

Last updated

Coordinates: 40°45′15″N73°59′15″W / 40.75417°N 73.98750°W / 40.75417; -73.98750

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.

Contents

Metropolitan Opera House in 1905, looking uptown Metropolitan opera 1905 crop.jpg
Metropolitan Opera House in 1905, looking uptown
Recital at the old Met by pianist Josef Hofmann, November 28, 1937 Metropolitan Opera House, a concert by pianist Josef Hofmann - NARA 541890 - Edit.jpg
Recital at the old Met by pianist Josef Hofmann, November 28, 1937

The Metropolitan Opera House was an opera house located at 1411 Broadway in New York City. Opened in 1883 and demolished in 1967, it was the first home of the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Opera house theatre building used for opera performances

An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building.

Broadway (Manhattan) street in Manhattan

Broadway is a road in the U.S. state of New York. Broadway runs from State Street at Bowling Green for 13 mi (21 km) through the borough of Manhattan and 2 mi (3.2 km) through the Bronx, exiting north from the city to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and Tarrytown, and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

History

Sometimes referred to as "the old Met", the Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22, 1883, with a performance of Faust . It was located at 1411 Broadway, occupying the whole block between West 39th Street and West 40th Street on the west side of the street in the Garment District of Midtown Manhattan. Nicknamed "The Yellow Brick Brewery" for its industrial looking exterior, the original Metropolitan Opera House was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady. On August 27, 1892, the nine-year-old theater was gutted by fire. The 1892−93 season was canceled while the opera house was rebuilt along its original lines. During that season, the Vaudeville Club, which eventually became the Metropolitan Opera Club, was founded and hosted entertainment in the undamaged portions of the house.

<i>Faust</i> (opera) Grand opera in five acts by Charles Gounod

Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859, with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin, and Philippe Chaperon.

Garment District, Manhattan Neighborhood in New York City

The Garment District, also known as the Garment Center, the Fashion District, or the Fashion Center, is a neighborhood located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The dense concentration of fashion-related uses give the neighborhood its name. The neighborhood, less than 1 square mile (2.6 km2), is generally considered to lie between Fifth Avenue and Ninth Avenue, from 34th to 42nd Streets.

Midtown Manhattan central business district in New York City

Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Midtown is home to some of the city's most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, the headquarters of the United Nations, Grand Central Terminal, and Rockefeller Center, as well as Broadway and Times Square.

In 1903, architects Carrère and Hastings extensively redesigned the interior of the opera house. The familiar golden auditorium with its sunburst chandelier, and curved proscenium inscribed with the names of six composers (Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Gounod and Verdi), dates from this time. The first of the Met's signature gold damask stage curtains was installed in 1906, completing the look that the old Metropolitan Opera House maintained until its closing.

Carrère and Hastings American architecture firm

{{more footnotes |date=May 2019

Proscenium

A proscenium is the metaphorical vertical plane of space in a theatre, usually surrounded on the top and sides by a physical proscenium arch and on the bottom by the stage floor itself, which serves as the frame into which the audience observes from a more or less unified angle the events taking place upon the stage during a theatrical performance. The concept of the fourth wall of the theatre stage space that faces the audience is essentially the same.

Christoph Willibald Gluck composer

Christoph WillibaldGluck was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Born in the Upper Palatinate and raised in Bohemia, both part of the Holy Roman Empire, he gained prominence at the Habsburg court at Vienna. There he brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices for which many intellectuals had been campaigning. With a series of radical new works in the 1760s, among them Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, he broke the stranglehold that Metastasian opera seria had enjoyed for much of the century. Gluck introduced more drama by using simpler recitative and cutting the usually long da capo aria. His later operas have half the length of a typical baroque opera.

Metropolitan Opera House program cover depicting the Proscenium arch in 1935 Metropolitan Opera House program cover 1935.jpg
Metropolitan Opera House program cover depicting the Proscenium arch in 1935

In 1940, ownership of the opera house shifted from the wealthy families who occupied the theater's boxes to the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association. At this time the last major change to the auditorium's interior was completed. The second tier of privately held boxes (the "grand tier") was converted into standard row seating. This enlarged the seating capacity and left only the first tier of boxes from the "golden horseshoe" of the opera house's origins as a showplace for New York society.

The Met had a seating capacity of 3,625 with 224 standing room places.

While the theater was noted for its excellent acoustics and elegant interior, as early as the 1900s the backstage facilities were deemed to be severely inadequate for a large opera company. Scenery and sets were a regular sight leaning against the building exterior on 39th Street where crews had to shift them between performances. Various plans were put forward over the years to build a new home for the company and designs for new opera houses were created by various architects including Joseph Urban. Proposed new locations included Columbus Circle and what is now Rockefeller Center, but none of these plans came to fruition. Only with the development of Lincoln Center on New York's Upper West Side did the Met finally have the opportunity to build a modern opera house.

Joseph Urban American scenic designer and architect

Joseph Urban was an Austrian-American architect, illustrator and scenic designer.

Columbus Circle monument, circle and neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City

Columbus Circle is a traffic circle and heavily trafficked intersection in the New York City borough of Manhattan, located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South, and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. The circle is the point from which official highway distances from New York City are measured, as well as the center of the 25 miles (40 km) restricted-travel area for C-2 visa holders.

Rockefeller Center mixed-use building complex in New York City

Rockefeller Center is a large complex consisting of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 m2) between 48th and 51st Streets, facing Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The 14 original Art Deco buildings, commissioned by the Rockefeller family, span the area between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, split by a large sunken square and a private street called Rockefeller Plaza. Five International Style buildings, built later, are located on the west side of Sixth Avenue and at the north end of Rockefeller Plaza.

The Metropolitan Opera said goodbye to its old house on April 16, 1966, with a sentimental gala farewell performance featuring nearly all of the company's current leading artists. Long-time Met star soprano Zinka Milanov made her last Met appearance that night, and among the many invited guests was soprano Anna Case, who had made her debut at the house in 1909. The final performance at the opera house was given not by the Met, but by the Bolshoi Ballet, which concluded a short run of appearances on May 8, 1966. [1] The theater was purchased by Jack D. Weiler [2] and despite a campaign to preserve the theater, it failed to obtain landmark status and the old Met was razed in 1967. It was replaced by a 40-story office tower, 1411 Broadway, intended to provide a steady income for the opera company. Designed by Irwin S. Chanin and completed in 1970, the building was later sold by the Metropolitan Opera and today it is owned by 1411 TrizecHahn-Swig LLC, a partnership of the TrizecHahn and Swig real estate companies. Since 1966, the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center has been home to the Metropolitan Opera.

Zinka Milanov Croatian opera singer

Zinka Milanov was a Croatian-born operatic dramatic soprano who had a major career centered on the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. After finishing her education in Zagreb, Milanov made her debut in 1927 in Ljubljana as Leonora in Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore. From 1928 to 1936, she was the leading soprano of the Croatian National Theatre. In 1937, Milanov performed at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time, where she continued to sing until 1966. She also performed as a concert singer and was a noted vocal coach and teacher. Milanov is the sister of the composer and pianist Božidar Kunc.

Anna Case American opera singer

Anna Case was an American soprano. She recorded with Thomas Alva Edison, who used her voice extensively in "tone tests" of whether a live audience could tell the difference between the actual singer and a recording. In addition to recordings for Edison Records on both phonograph cylinder and Diamond Disc, Case recorded for Victor and Columbia Records, and made sound film for Vitaphone.

Bolshoi Ballet ballet company in Moscow, Russia

The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia. Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world's oldest ballet companies. It only achieved worldwide acclaim, however, in the early 20th century when Moscow became the capital of Soviet Russia. Along with the Mariinsky Ballet in Saint Petersburg, the Bolshoi is recognised as one of the foremost ballet companies in the world.

Related Research Articles

Metropolitan Opera Opera company in Manhattan, New York City

The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Mark Hellinger Theatre former Broadway theater and movie theater in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States, now a church

The Mark Hellinger Theatre is a former Broadway theatre and cinema complex, located at 237 West 51st Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City. Since 1989, it has been home to the Times Square Church. The former theater, which remains largely unaltered in appearance, is most notable for having been the site of the original production of My Fair Lady, which ran from 1956 to 1962.

Detroit Opera House opera house and former movie theater in Detroit, Michigan, United States

The Detroit Opera House is an ornate opera house located at 1526 Broadway Street in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, within the Grand Circus Park Historic District. The 2,700-seat venue is the home of productions of the Michigan Opera Theatre and a variety of other events. The theatre was originally designed by C. Howard Crane, who created other prominent theatres in Detroit including The Fillmore Detroit, the Fox Theater and the Detroit Symphony's Orchestra Hall. It opened on January 22, 1922.

Neil Simon Theatre Broadway theatre in New York City

The Neil Simon Theatre, formerly the Alvin Theatre, is a Broadway venue built in 1927 and located at 250 West 52nd Street in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Majestic Theatre (Broadway) Broadway theater in Manhattan, New York City, United States

The Majestic Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 245 West 44th Street in midtown Manhattan. It is one of the largest Broadway theatres with 1,681 seats, and traditionally has been used as a venue for major musical theatre productions. Among the notable shows that have premiered at the Majestic are Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The Music Man (1957), Camelot (1960), A Little Night Music (1973), and The Wiz (1975). It was also the second home of 42nd Street and the third home of 1776. The theatre has housed The Phantom of the Opera since it opened on January 26, 1988. With a record-breaking 13,000 performances to date, it is currently the longest-running production in Broadway history.

Hayes Theater Broadway theater in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, United States

Hayes Theater is a Broadway theatre located at 240 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. With 597 seats, it is the smallest theatre on Broadway. It was an ABC Television studio from 1957 to 1963. Later the syndicated talk show The Merv Griffin Show, before it moved to Los Angeles in 1972, was taped at the theatre.

Straz Center for the Performing Arts performing arts center in Tampa, Florida

The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors as the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, Florida in July 1987 and has welcomed more than 16 million guests. The venue was renamed in November 2009 to recognize the generous donation, the largest individual philanthropic gift ever made to a cultural institution in the Tampa Bay area, of financier David A. Straz, Jr.

Academy of Music (New York City) Broadway

The Academy of Music was a New York City opera house, located on the northeast corner of East 14th Street and Irving Place in Manhattan. The 4,000-seat hall opened on October 2, 1854. The review in The New York Times declared it to be an acoustical "triumph", but "In every other aspect ... a decided failure," complaining about the architecture, interior design and the closeness of the seating; although a follow-up several days later relented a bit, saying that the theater "looked more cheerful, and in every way more effective" than it had on opening night.

Ekaterina Maximova Russian ballet dancer

Ekaterina Sergeevna Maximova was a Soviet and Russian ballerina of international renown.

Aeolian Hall (Manhattan) building in New York City

Aeolian Hall was a concert hall in midtown Manhattan in New York City, located on the third floor of 29-33 West 42nd Street across the street from Bryant Park. The Aeolian Building was built in 1912 for the Aeolian Company, which manufactured pianos. Located on the site of the former Latting Tower, which during the 19th century was a popular observatory, the 18-story building contained the 1,100-seat Aeolian Hall. The building stands next to the Grace Building.

Westside Theatre

The Westside Theatre is an off-Broadway performance space at 407 West 43rd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The building houses two auditoriums: the Upstairs Theatre, which seats 270, and the Downstairs Theatre, which features a thrust stage and has a seating capacity of 249. Formerly known as the Chelsea Theatre Center and the Westside Arts Theatre, the building was renovated in 1991.

New Victory Theater theater and former movie theater in the Garment District of Manhattan, New York City, United States

The New Victory Theater is an off-Broadway theater located at 209 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, in Midtown Manhattan. The New Victory presents work for children and family audiences year-round, programming a full season of theater, dance, puppetry, circus, opera, physical theater and other types of performance art from around the world. In 2012, The New Victory Theater received a special Drama Desk Award for “providing enchanting, sophisticated theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.”

Trizec Properties

Trizec Properties, Inc., previously known as TrizecHahn Corporation, was a real estate investment trust (REIT) company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It was historically a Canadian company. The name is derived from the three groups (Tri) that formed a one-time related company Trizec Properties Ltd to develop Place Ville Marie in Montreal. Developer William Zeckendorf (Z) initially financed the project with capital provided by two UK insurance companies, Eagle Star (E) and Covent Gardens (C), which formed the word Trizec.

Grand Opera House (Manhattan) New York theatre

Pike's Opera House, later renamed the Grand Opera House, was a theater in New York City on the northwest corner of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. It was constructed in 1868, at a cost of a million dollars, for distiller and entrepreneur Samuel N. Pike (1822–1872) of Cincinnati. The building survived in altered form until 1960 as an RKO movie theater, after which it was replaced by part of Penn South, an urban renewal housing development.

Metropolitan Opera House (Philadelphia) theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The Metropolitan Opera House (MOH) is a historic opera house located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 858 North Broad Street. It has been used for many different purposes over its history. Now known as the Met Philadelphia, the theatre reopened in December 2018, after a complete renovation, as a concert venue. It is managed by Live Nation.

Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center) opera house in Manhattan

The Metropolitan Opera House is an opera house located on Broadway at Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. Part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the theater was designed by Wallace K. Harrison. It opened in 1966, replacing the original 1883 Metropolitan Opera House at Broadway and 39th Street. With a seating capacity of approximately 3,800, the house is the largest repertory opera house in the world. Home to the Metropolitan Opera Company, the facility also hosts the American Ballet Theatre in the summer months.

Astor Opera House

The Astor Opera House, also known as the Astor Place Opera House and later the Astor Place Theatre, was an opera house in Manhattan, New York City, located on Lafayette Street between Astor Place and East 8th Street. Designed by Isaiah Rogers, the theater was conceived by impresario Edward Fry, the brother of composer William Henry Fry, who managed the opera house during its entire history.

New York City Center Theater in New York City

New York City Center is a 2,257-seat Moorish Revival theater located at 131 West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan, New York City. It is one block south of Carnegie Hall. City Center is especially known as a performing home for several major dance companies as well as the Encores! musical theater series and the Fall for Dance Festival. The facility houses the 2,257 seat main stage, two smaller theaters, four studios and a 12-story office tower.

Brownes Chop House

Browne's Chop House was a New York City restaurant that was popular with the theatrical crowd. It closed in 1925.

References

Notes

  1. Barnes, Clive (May 9, 1966). "Ballet: Our Revels Now Are Ended at the Old Metropolitan; Bolshoi Gives House Its Last Performance Hurok Invites Dancers of the Past for Finale" (PDF). The New York Times . p. 48.
  2. "Millionaire Began as a Realty Clerk". The Pittsburgh Press . February 18, 1986. p. A4.

Bibliography