The Metropolitan Opera in New York City

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The largest classical music organization in North America, The Metropolitan Opera saw its first season in 1883. After the industrial revolution created a large number of newly wealthy families in the late nineteenth century, The Academy of Music refused to allow them to purchases boxes for their performances. This inspired families like the Roosevelts and the Vanderbilts, who were considered 'new money' at the time, to band together and create what we now know as The Met.

Photo of The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City (photo: Rolex/Ambroise Tézenas)
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City (photo: Rolex/Ambroise Tézenas)
The original building, or 'Old Met' as it is often called, was located on 39th and Broadway. It wasn't until 1966 that The Metropolitan Opera House moved to its current location at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The Met presents up to 27 performances in a season featuring classical works from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as more modern and minimalist presentations. Many of the greatest opera singers have performed on their stage, including Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti and Jonas Kaufmann.

In September of 1999, Rolex Testimonee Plácido Domingo set the record for the most opening night performances with his 18th appearance on the stage. The tenor, baritone and conductor has been an Arts Testimonee since 1982. Rolex has been the official timepiece of The Metropolitan Opera since August of 2011.


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