The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company, located in New York City. Originally founded in 1880, the company gave its first performance on October 22, 1883. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. The music director is James Levine.
The Metropolitan Opera is the largest classical music organization in North America. It presents about 27 different operas each year in a season which lasts from late September through May. The operas are presented in a rotating repertory schedule with up to seven performances of four different works staged each week. Performances are given in the evening Monday through Saturday with a matinée on Saturday.
The operas in the Met’s repertoire consist of works written in many different musical genres, from 18th Century Baroque and 19th Century Bel canto, up through the Minimalism of the late 20th Century. These operas are presented in staged productions that range in style from those with elaborate traditional decors to others that feature modern conceptual designs.
The Met’s performing company consists of a large symphony-sized orchestra, a chorus, children’s choir, ballet company, and many supporting and leading solo singers. The Met’s roster of singers includes both international and American artists, some of whose careers have been developed through the Met’s young artists programs. While many singers appear as guests with the company, others, such as Renée Fleming and Plácido Domingo, have long maintained a close association with the Met, appearing many times each season.