It's September , and the world's symphony orchestras and opera companies are set to begin another season , including the Metropolitan opera , the largest performing arts organization in the world . This mighty and world famous institution is celebrating 50 years at Lincoln Center in New York , when it finally moved from its venerable but crumbling original home which had opened back in 1883 . The old house was demolished , and the company moved into its glittering and glamorous current home in Lincoln Center , which had and still has the most advanced technology in he world for producing opera , as well as ample backstage facilities for singers, which were sorely lacking in the old house . This is also the world's largest opera house with the world's largest opera stage , and the auditorium seats nearly 4,000 !
In May of 2017 , the company will celebrate 50 years in Lincoln center with a gala concert featuring many of the world's leading opera singers who have appeared there in recent years . This should be a memorable evening ! The season begins on September 26 with a new production of Wagner's Tristan & Isolde , an overwhelmingly powerful story of illicit love, betrayal , tragedy and redemption set in medieval Cornwall ,England based on medieval legend and folklore . The eminent English conductor Sir Simon Rattle returns to the Met after several years , and the old of the doomed queen Isolde will be sung by the renowned Swedish Wagnerian soprano Nina Stemme .
Other new productions will include the first performances of Rossini's legendary Swiss drama "Guillaume Tell " (William Tell ) since 1931 . This of course, opens with the famous William Tell overture , but the whole opera is rarely performed because of its great length and vocal difficulty , Romeo & Juliette , by the French composer Charles Gounod , best known for his "Faust " , based on the Shakespeare tragedy , Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss , the Met's first new production of this immortal story of amorous intrigue ,mistaken identity and shenanigans among the aristocrats , nouveau -riche and common people of 18th century Vienna in over 40 years , Rusalka , by Dvorak, a poignant and tragic Czech fairy tale about a doomed water sprite who yearns to become human so she can experience human love , and a contemporary opera , "L'Amour de Loin " (Love from afar ) new to the Met by the Finnish composer Kaaia Saariaho . This will be only the second opera by a woman composer to be performed by the Met, and the first one by a Scandinavian composer . It's about time !
Other productions which are not new to the Met include such repertory favorites as Puccini's La Boheme, Verdi operas such as Aida, Rigoletto , La Traviata, Bizet's Carmen , Rossini's bubbling comic opera The Barber of Seville, Puccini's Manon Lescaut , Beethoven''s only opera Fidelio, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin , Mozart's Don Giovanni , Wagner's Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman ), Salome by Richard Strauss , Bellini's I Puritani and Werther by Jules Massenet .
Some less familiar but great operas include Jenufa by Czech composer Leos Janacek , Cyrano De Bergerac by Italian composer Franco Alfano , who is best known for completing Puccini's final opera Turandot , which was left incomplete when the composer died in 1924 , Rossini's zany comedy "LI'Italiana in Algeri (The Italian woman in Algiers ), returning to the Met after many years , and Mozart;s Idomeneo , set in ancient Crete after the Trojan war .
As always, the Met will feature many of the world's most renowned opera singers , including Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Thomas Hampson, Roberto Alagna, Karita Mattila , to name only a handful, plus many less well known younger opera singers from all over the world who are beginning to make names for themselves in the opera world .
Music director emeritus James Levine, despite the unfortunate health problems which have forced him to cancel so many performances, is still scheduled to conduct at the Met , and the Met's music director designate , the Canadian maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin will conduct Wagner's The Flying Dutchman . Other distinguished conductors on the Met roster include England's Sir Mark Elder, who will conduct the new Rusalka , Fabio Luisi for the revival of William Tell , Gianandrea Noseda , Carlo Rizzi , and legendary tenor Placido Domingo, who also doubles as a conductor , will lead Mozart's Don Giovanni . The return of Sir Simon Rattle, music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, is eagerly anticipated .
Even if you don't live in or near New York, you can easily experience Met performances in a variety of ways , and you don't even have to be rich ! The Met's High Definition performances can be seen in movie theaters all over America for a reasonable price ; check to see if there is a movie theater near you which carries them . These take place on Saturday afternoons, and are live performances . The famous Met radio broadcast performances on radio begin every December and can be heard all over America . You can stream Met performances through Sirius and Met Opera On Demand , and PBS broadcasts a number of Met performances on television every year . Met performances regularly come out on DVD, too .
If you're planning to visit New York during the Met season , check the Met's website metopera.org for availability of tickets and a variety of other information . Tickets range from about $ 250 to only 25 . It's much harder to get tickets for "Hamilton " and less expensive .
There's nothing stuffy or "elitist " about attending Met performances . It's a friendly, welcoming place and audiences aren't a bunch of wealthy, snooty people who attend for purely social; reasons . Met audiences are much more like sports fans - they go because the love opera and are as enthusiastic as sports fans at sporting events . Yes, some rich people do go to the Met , but they love opera too ! Whether you attend live performances, stream them through your computer, go to HD performances at the movies watch PBS telecasts or listen to radio broadcasts , Met performances are a special thing !