Star line-up for the Met’s golden anniversary gala

On 16 September 1966, the Metropolitan Opera opened its doors for the first time at its new home, with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. This Sunday 7 May, the Met celebrates their 50 years at Lincoln Center with a special gala featuring some of the world’s finest opera stars.

Performers include David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Elīna Garanča, Isabel Leonard, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s incoming Music Director.

The gala will open with an interpretation of the creation of the opera house itself, set to the overture of the film version of Bernstein’s West Side Story, famously set on the site where the Met now stands. The evening will then progress through more than 25 different operas, including Porgy and Bess, WertherSamson et Dalila, Les Troyens, Die Zauberflöte, Semiramide and I Lombardi. Interspersed throughout the evening will be historic video clips, including the groundbreaking of the new building, background to the famous chandeliers, and interview clips.

Among other selections, Yannick will conduct the Prologue to Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, marking the first time it has been heard in the house since that inaugural 1966/67 season. Speaking to the Met, he said:

“A gala such as this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our own history and to put it into perspective with our present and future. Performing new works has been an important part of the Met’s history, and it is still a priority for the institution. As an incoming Music Director, I want to play an even greater role in the commissioning and performance of new operas, and this is why it is exciting and symbolic for me to conduct this excerpt from Barber’s masterpiece.”

Askonas Holt is delighted to be supporting the Met on this special occasion, as a Member of the 1966 Circle.

Explore the Met’s 50th anniversary

^ Lincoln Center in construction, 1966. Photo: Metropolitan Opera Archives.
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