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October 22

Metropolitan Opera House

In 1966, the Metropolitan Opera moved to its current home at 66th and Broadway, as part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex.

National Archives and Records Administration, 541890.

1883: For the Love of Music
The first performance is held at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City
Over a century ago, the Metropolitan Opera was housed in a building on Broadway at 39th Street in New York City. It was here that the first performance occurred—namely Faust, by Charles Gounod. The only reason a performance was made possible was all thanks to a group of wealthy New Yorkers with a passion for opera.

After being unable to purchase box seats for performances at the Academy of Music, they banded together to underwrite a brand new opera house. Initially, performers sang in Italian, later in German; fortunately, they agreed to stage operas in the works’ original languages during the 1895–96 season. Imagine hearing Aida in German! Today, the Metropolitan Opera presents over 200 performances each season, culled from a large repertoire, featuring the world’s most renowned vocal talents.
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