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A Backstage Tour - Metropolitan Opera


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This past Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of getting a backstage tour of the Met along with a select number of other bloggers.  We were treated to hot chocolate and the tree lighting before the tour began.  I brought my daughter with me and she loved it so much she told me she wanted to go back to the Met the next day.

We (all the bloggers) gathered in the board room and then took a walk down the grand staircases to the orchestra level seats.  The four thousand seat Opera house took about four years to build.  The acoustics are so good that no amplifiers are used by the performers.  When you see the size of the Opera house and then think about this fact, you realize how great a feat this is.

The Met makes great use of technology as well.  Each performance has subtitles, which are located in displays on the back of every seat.  You press a button to change the language.  The planning for productions can take from three to five years.  The Opera productions can take up to seven stage managers and over a hundred stage hands to run.  We saw all the work areas that made all this possible.  For the safety of all who work and perform on the sets no glass is used on the stage, only plastic is used on the sets, even mirrors are made of plastic.  All the sets are built in-house and everything on the sets are built and designed there.  Currently there are twenty eight working productions, eight are new.

Some additional facts we learned during this backstage tour:
  • There are 50 trap doors on stage.
  • Childrens chorus comprises of 100 children, who either grows out of the outfits or their voices before leaving.
  • The 110 musician orchestra is placed on a double decker elevator set
  • The Ceiling is 23K gold plated

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia for some further reading.

The Metropolitan Opera is America's largest classical music organization, and annually presents some 220 opera performances. The home of the company, the Metropolitan Opera House, is considered by many to be one of the premier opera stages in the world, and is among the largest in the world. The Met, as it is commonly called, is one of the twelve resident organizations at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
The Met's artistic standards are considered to be among the highest in the world. The company's stage facilities and technical staff offer leading directors and designers a state of the art environment in which to create any kind of production. The Met's production designs range from elegant and traditional to highly innovative and avant-garde.

Want to see an Opera for free or cheap?  See our FrugalNYC Metropolitan Opera Giveaway (Ends this evening).  Winner for a pair of Orchestra level seating ($90 value) will be announced tomorrow!

Have you been to the Met?  What do you like or dislike about it?  What's your favorite performance?

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Kristin Davie said...

A friend of mine invited me to the Met two years ago to see Madame Butterfly. Loved it! The Met is so glamorous and seeing an opera there is such a great NYC experience. My father and I have always wanted to see Carmen- the score is always playing in his car.

FrugalNYC said...

Hi Kristin,

Happy to hear from you! The Met is amazing. I've never been inside the Met until this past Tuesday. It's more accessible to New Yorkers than many people realize.

If you can take advantage of the $20 tickets, definitely go see a performance! Or enter to win the pair of free tickets! :)

mblue32 said...

Hi Kristin, did you know that CARMEN is actually playing at the Met this winter? A new production starts on New Year's Even and the photos look gorgeous! Find out more here:


The405Club.com - (Un)Employment Network said...

that's awesome!

FrugalNYC said...

@mblue32 Thanks for sharing that additional info on CARMEN.

Glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by :)

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