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On Stage At The Met, 1901 – Thanks to Lionel Mapelson

Lionel Mapleson with his recording equipment
Lionel Mapleson with Edison Home Phonograph and extra large horn, probably at the Metropolitan Opera House. (ca. 1901-1903)
19, 2011

Lionel Mapelson was a librarian at the Metropolitan Opera over 110 years ago and an amateur inventor who recorded bits of early Met performances on a hand cranked machine.

The Met’s Die Walküre – All Those Valkyries and the Machine Breaks Down!!?!

A scene from Act 3 of Wagner's Die Walküre at The Metropolitan Opera
A scene from Act 3 of Wagner's Die Walküre in a production at The Metropolitan Opera.
16, 2011

Despite a late start due to technical difficulties, I have never enjoyed Die Walküre as much as I did last Saturday in an HD transmission from The Metropolitan Opera.

Great Performances at The Met: Romeo et Juliette – February 1, 1947

Opera News (program) for the 1947 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Charles Gounod's Romeo and Juliet
The Opera News (program) for the February 1, 1947 Metropolitan Opera matinee broadcast of Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette.
13, 2011

Of the more than 1300 live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera (since 1931) Charles Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette (February 1947) is among those to have attained “legendary status.”

Great Performances at The Metropolitan Opera: Tosca, April 7, 1962

album cover for Sony's release of the Metropolitan Opera's 1962 broadcast of Puccini's Tosca
Sony Classical has released a live recording of the April 7, 1962 broadcast of the Met's production of Puccini's Tosca.
May 6, 2011

Sony Classical continues their release of classic Metropolitan Opera broadcasts with a 1962 Met production of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ with Leontyne Price in the title role.

Great Performances at The Met: Puccini’s La Boheme, Feb. 15, 1958

Licia Albanese as Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme
Licia Albanese as Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme
19, 2011

Sony Classical continues to release Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts from days gone by. The latest in their series is a performances of Puccini’s La Boheme from 1958.

Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” At The Met, December 16, 1950

program from the metropolitan opera's production of rossini's the barber of seville
Program from the Metropolitan Opera's December 1950 broadcast of Rossini's The Barber of Seville.
14, 2011

Sony Classical has released a December 16, 1950 live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera of Gioachino Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville).

A Metropolitan (Soap) Opera

scene from rossini's le comte ory
A Scene from Rossini's Le Comte Ory with Juan Diego Florez in the title role.
9, 2011

The New York Times reports music scholar Philip Gossett refused The Metropolitan Opera’s request to write program notes for a production of Rossini’s “Le Comte Ory” because he is displeased with their use of a “butchered” version of the score.

Great Performances: Verdi’s ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (1991)

Performers on stage in a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera
Scene from a Metropolitan Opera performance of "Un Ballo in Maschera" in 1991.
5, 2011

In this video performance from 1991, Aprile Millo and Luciano Pavarotti show us how it’s done.

Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’

Joseph Calleja (Edgardo) and Natalie Dessay (Lucia) rehearsing Gaetano Donizetti's
Joseph Calleja (Edgardo) and Natalie Dessay (Lucia) rehearsing Gaetano Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" in 2011.
18, 2011

The Metropolitan Opera presents Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor live in HD at movie theaters worldwide on Saturday March 19. Here are some footnotes and history for those who plan to go.

News, News, News: Your Thoughts on The Met’s HD Nixon in China

scene from the Opera
James Maddalena and Janis Kelly as Richard and Pat Nixon in the Metropolitan Opera production of John Adam's "Nixon in China," in 2011.
16, 2011

Instead of writing a review of the Met’s Nixon in China, why not reflect on the opera itself as an explanation of – or at least a mirror on – the world as we know it?