Metropolitan Opera Orchestra is our next orchestra in the 20 world best orchestras list by Gramophone magazine in 2008. It occupies the 18th position in the list.
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, as known from its name, is the orchestra of Metropolitan Opera Company, New York. It mainly serves the Opera Company as the pit orchestra, taking part in operas produced by the company. Metropolitan Opera, established in 1883, is one of the most respected opera companies in America and the world.
To enhance the quality of the orchestra and also to occasionally bring the spotlight into the orchestra, Met Orchestra also engages in playing symphonic music in an orchestral concert setting, in opposite to play in the orchestral pit during an opera performance. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in its symphonic format also brings forth its pit players. The concert itself is hosted mainly in New York, at the Lincoln Center or at Carnegie Hall. But sometimes, the orchestra also tours to several cities in the USA.
Currently Met Orchestra is led by James Levine, who is also the music director of the Metropolitan Opera. Stages around 200 performances each year, Metropolitan Opera which home is also at Lincoln Center since the beginning of last century has been active in the airwaves by giving live broadcasted performance of opera.
In 2007, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra received a boost in popularity mainly because of the Opera HD Simulcast, named MetLive. This program help Metropolitan Opera to broadcast its operas to cinemas across America and also Latin America and Europe. It is a breakthrough in opera performance distribution from Met General Manager, Peter Gelb. Since then, Met Orchestra received high acclaim, more than it was before and this idea is being copied by other prominent opera companies.