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Architecture for Music: Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center

This is the Sunday Series, a peek of things in the art music world.

Music has a close bound with architecture for quite some time. Concert halls are also the ones which effects the music and also effected by music. They have also given birth to great architecture designs in the globe.

This series presents the beauty of the structure, in which creativity flows abundantly.


This is also a second building to be called The Metropolitan Opera House. The first one was build on Broadway from West 39th Street and West 40th Street.

The present Metropolitan Opera House, with approximately 3,800 seats, is located at Lincoln Center at Lincoln Square in the Upper West Side and was designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison. Although west-east roads do not run through Lincoln Center itself, the Metropolitan Opera House is parallel to the block from West 63rd Street to West 64th Street. The rear of the House meets Amsterdam Avenue and the entrance to the Opera House is at Lincoln Center Plaza which begins at Columbus Avenue. The building is clad in white travertine and the east facade is graced with a distinctive series of five arches.

~ from wiki

Metropolitan Opera House is one of the foremost opera house in the United Stated and arguably in America. And of course it houses The Metropolitan Opera Company or The Met.

On display in the lobby, and visible to the outside plaza, are two murals created for the space by Marc Chagall. The square gold proscenium is 54′ wide and 54′ high. The main curtain of custom-woven gold damask is the largest tab curtain in the world.

The new building opened on September 16, 1966, with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. The large and highly mechanized stage and support space smoothly facilitates the rotating presentation of up to four different opera productions each week. There are 7 full stage elevators, (60′ wide, with double decks) and three slipstages, the upstage one containing a 60′ diameter revolve (turntable). There are 103 motorized battens (linesets) for overhead lifting and there are two 100′ tall fully-enveloping cycloramas.

So, Met has 7 real-life full stage elevators each can be used for rehearsal all at the same time. It is an act of effectivity.


About mikebm (1289 Articles)
An arts journalist, a conductor, an educator, a young arts manager whose passion drove him to leave a multinational IT cooperation to study Arts Administration and Cultural Policy in London and went back to Indonesia to build the scene there.

2 Comments on Architecture for Music: Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center

  1. Xavier Sole // 29 Maret 2009 pukul 8:11 pm //

    I cherch the pictures and drawings of the Metropolitan Opera House architecture in the Lincoln Center . New York.
    Architect : Wallace K. Harrison.
    Thank’s for that information.

  2. i like is.is is ealtifull

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