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Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1883, with its first opera house built on Broadway and 39th Street by a group of wealthy businessmen who wanted their own theater.

In the company’s early years, the management changed course several times, first performing everything in Italian (even Carmen and Lohengrin), then everything in German (even Aida and Faust), before finally settling into a policy of performing most works in their original language, with some notable exceptions.

The Metropolitan Opera has always engaged many of the world’s most important artists: Christine Nilsson, Marcella Sembrich, Lilli Lehmann, Nellie Melba, Emma Calvé, De Reszke brothers, Jean and Edouard, Emma Eames, Lillian Nordica, Enrico Caruso, Geraldine Farrar, Rosa Ponselle, Lawrence Tibbett and more. Some of the great conductors have helped shape the Met: Anton Seidl, Arturo Toscanini, Gustav Mahler, Artur Bodanzky, Bruno Walter, George Szell, Fritz Reiner, and Dimitri Mitropoulos.
Opera stars Leontyne Price and Robert Merrill deliver an aria at topping-ouut ceremonies for the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center The $42.7 million, 14-story building, in the background, is the largest of five structures in the center and is scheduled for completion next year World Telegram & Sun photo by Phil Stanziola
1857
1857
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1999
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1999
959 Media in collectionpage 1 of 10
Metropolitan Opera House, N.Y

Metropolitan Opera House, N.Y

On mount: European and Amerivan Views. Title from item.

Nielsen

Nielsen

Photograph shows Swedish opera singer Christine Nilsson, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing right. Title from item. No. 1111. Stamped on verso: Gift, Virginia S. Benjamin, Feb. 12, 1946. Reference co... more

The operatic war in New York / J.K.

The operatic war in New York / J.K.

Print shows a clash between the Academy of Music and the Metropolitan Opera, with Henry E. Abbey, opera singers, conductors, and orchestras; some of the identified figures include Marcella Sembrich, Sofia Scalc... more

Nellie Melba, in costume for "Lucia di Lammermoor", posed to sign the marriage certificate, ca. 1888 / photographer Felix Nadar, rue d'Anjou, St. Honore, 51, Paris

Nellie Melba, in costume for "Lucia di Lammermoor", posed to sign the ...

The pre-legendary Melba at the start of her career. Photographs of the young singer are rarer than when she had become world famous. Belying the myth, she was an attractive young woman and her costume, usually ... more

The Interior of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, with an Audience of over 3,500 People, on the Occasion of Max Alvary's 100th Appearance in Wagner's "Siegfried"

The Interior of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, with an Audien...

View from stage toward audience, showing prompter in box at front of stage. Flash-light photo by Ernest Marx. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card, with subsequent revisions. Caption card... more

Geraldine Farrar, 1882-1967

Geraldine Farrar, 1882-1967

Head and shoulders portrait, facing front. Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress). Caption card tracings: B.I.; Shelf.

Nellie Melba as Ophelie in Thomas's "Hamlet", ca. 1889-1890 / photographer Benque, Paris

Nellie Melba as Ophelie in Thomas's "Hamlet", ca. 1889-1890 / photogra...

The legendary Melba at the start of her career. Photographs of the young singer are rarer than when she had become world famous. Belying the myth, she was an attractive young woman and her costume, usually supp... more

[Emma Eames, full-length portrait, seated, facing slightly left]

[Emma Eames, full-length portrait, seated, facing slightly left]

72700 U.S. Copyright Office. Copyright by B.J. Falk, N.Y.

Metropolitan Opera House Reunion of the Pioneers and Friends of Woman's Progress on Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Eightieth Birthday

Metropolitan Opera House Reunion of the Pioneers and Friends of Woman'...

Speakers highlight women's progress in religion, education, philanthropy, art, medicine, suffrage

Anton Seidl

Anton Seidl

Half lgth., facing right. Photoprint copyrighted by Amie Dupont, N.Y. No. 2. This record contains unverified data from caption card.

[Emma Eames, 1865-1952, full-length portrait, standing, facing left]

[Emma Eames, 1865-1952, full-length portrait, standing, facing left]

67547 U.S. Copyright Office. Photo by Aimé Dupont, N.Y. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Opera; PI; Shelf.

Dame Nellie Melba, 1861-1931

Dame Nellie Melba, 1861-1931

Full lgth., seated, facing left; at spinning wheel. Photoprint copyrighted by A. Dupont. No. 1. This record contains unverified data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Spinning and spinning wheels; Photo... more

Nellie Melba 1859-1931

Nellie Melba 1859-1931

full length, seated at table, facing left Copyright 1896 by B.J. Falk, N.Y. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings:Photog. I.; BI; Shelf.

Sapho: Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique / / PAL.

Sapho: Théâtre de l'Opéra-Comique / / PAL.

Performing arts poster for a performance of a comic opera by Henri Cain and Arthur Bernède, with music by Jules Massenet and based on a novel by Alphonse Daudet, showing Emma Calvé as Fanny LeGrand. Title from item.

Marcella Sembrich, 1858-1935

Marcella Sembrich, 1858-1935

full length, standing, facing left, holding fan; as Rosina

Calvé (1898)

Calvé (1898)

Emma Calvé. Dans Sapho

De Segurola

De Segurola

Photograph shows Andrés Perelló de Segurola (1874-1953), a Spanish operatic bass who performed with the Metropolitan Opera. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2013)

Gatti-Gasazza

Gatti-Gasazza

Photograph shows Giulio Gatti-Casazzo (1869-1940), an Italian opera manager who directed the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (1908-1935). (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2016) Forms part of: George Grantha... more

The Metropolitan Opera -- "Aida"

The Metropolitan Opera -- "Aida"

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Braslau

Braslau

Photo shows opera singer Sophie Braslau (1902-1935), a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia)

Braslau

Braslau

Photo shows opera singer Sophie Braslau (1902-1935), a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia)

Gatti Casazza

Gatti Casazza

Photograph shows Giulio Gatti-Casazzo (1869-1940), an Italian opera manager who directed the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (1908-1935). (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2016) Title from data provided by t... more

Braslau

Braslau

Photo shows opera singer Sophie Braslau (1902-1935), a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, holding a camera. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and Jewish Women: A Comprehensi... more

F. Coppicus

F. Coppicus

Photograph shows Francis C. Coppicus (d. 1966), general secretary of the Metropolitan Opera and manager to many opera singers including Enrico Caruso. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2014)

Braslau

Braslau

Photo shows opera singer Sophie Braslau (1902-1935), a contralto who performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia)

Mme. Sembrich

Mme. Sembrich

Photograph shows Polish soprano opera singer Marcella Sembrich (1858-1935) who was born Prakseda Marcelina Kochanska. She performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera House in London... more

Caruso
Caruso

Caruso

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso
Caruso

Caruso

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso
Caruso

Caruso

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso

Caruso

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso
Mrs. F.W. Goddard and Mrs. E. Caruso

Mrs. F.W. Goddard and Mrs. E. Caruso

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso
Emma Eames Gogorza by Story Story

Emma Eames Gogorza by Story Story

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Geraldine Farrar

Geraldine Farrar

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Geraldine Farrar

Geraldine Farrar

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Fritz Reiner

Fritz Reiner

Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantha... more

Nellie Melba, with C. Haddon Chambers, Australian dramatist, and Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Australian sculptor, ca. 1900 / photographer unknown

Nellie Melba, with C. Haddon Chambers, Australian dramatist, and Edgar...

Format: Photograph. .Notes: Find more detailed information about this photograph: acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=411663 ( http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=411663 )... more

Mme. Sembrich

Mme. Sembrich

Photograph shows Polish soprano opera singer Marcella Sembrich (1858-1935) who was born Prakseda Marcelina Kocha?ska. She performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and the Royal Opera House in London... more

E. Caruso
E. Caruso

E. Caruso

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. General information about the George Grantham Bain Collection is availabl... more

Caruso

Caruso

Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. General information about the George Grantha... more

Caruso
Caruso
Caruso artwork

Caruso artwork

Title from data provided by the Bain News Service on the negative. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). General information about the George Grantham Bain Collection is availabl... more