Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/10/22

“October 22, 1883 ” By Rick Sanders

Metropolitan Opera (Lincoln Center), auditorium

Metropolitan Opera (Lincoln Center), auditorium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1883, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opens with a performance of Gounod’s Faust. From Wikipedia we read:

The Metropolitan Opera Company was founded in 1880 to create an alternative to the old established Academy of Music opera house. The subscribers to the Academy’s limited number of private boxes represented the highest stratum in New York society. These “old money” families were loath to admit New York’s newly wealthy industrialists into their long-established circle. Tired of being excluded, the Metropolitan Opera’s founding subscribers determined to build a new opera house that would outshine the old Academy in every way. A group of some 22 men assembled at Delmonico’s restaurant on April 28, 1880. They elected officers and established subscriptions for ownership in the new company. The new theater would include three tiers of private boxes in which the scions of New York’s powerful new industrial families could display their wealth and establish their social prominence. The first Met subscribers included members of the Morgan, Roosevelt, and Vanderbilt families, all of whom had been excluded from the Academy. Their new opera house opened on October 22, 1883 and was an immediate success. The Academy of Music’s opera season folded just three years after the Met opened.


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