Wednesday, September 24, 2014

History of the Metropolitan Opera's Opening Nights


I've been in several recent discussions regarding opening nights at the Metropolitan Opera. I'd mentioned I found this year's choice, "Le Nozze di Figaro" to be an unusual, but lucky one. Several friends disagreed saying it wasn't unusual at all and that it could work. I agreed that it could (and does) work, but still maintain for the Met it's an unusual choice. (The Met has only opened with it one other season, back in 1941).

The history of Met Opening Nights is fascinating, with the most frequent opera appearing to be Aida, the choice for
eleven seasons. Otello opened seven seasons and Faust and Roméo et Juliette each opened six.

I find it odd, and perhaps it's just a personal issue, but I'm not in favor of, as has happened several times in the Met's history using a Gala Concert to open the season in lieu of an actual opera performance. I'm sure, however, others would prefer this kind of evening but I don't call them opera lovers!

Following is a list of the Met's Opening Nights.

1883: Faust
1884: Tannhauser
1885: Lohengrin
1886: Die Königin von Saba
1887: Tristan und Isolde
1888: Les Huguenots
1889: Der Fliegende Holländer
1890: Asrael
1891: Roméo et Juliette
1892: (No Season)
1893: Faust
1894: Roméo et Juliette
1895: Roméo et Juliette
1896: Faust
1897: (No Season)
1898: Tannhäuser
1899: Roméo et Juliette
1900: Roméo et Juliette
1901: Tristan und Isolde
1902: Otello
1903: Rigoletto
1904: Aida
1905: La GIoconda
1906: Roméo et Juliette
1907: Adriana Lecouvreur
1908: Aida
1909: La Gioconda
1910: Armide
1911: Aida
1912: Manon Lescaut
1913: La Gioconda
1914: Un Ballo in Maschera
1915: Samson et Dalila
1916: Les Pêcheurs de Perles
1917: Aida
1918: Samson et Dalila
1919: Tosca
1920: La Juive
1921: La Traviata
1922: Tosca
1923: Thaïs
1924: Aida
1925: La Gioconda
1926: La Vestale
1927: Turandot
1928: L'Amore dei Tre Re
1929: Manon Lescaut
1930: Aida
1931: La Traviata
1932: Simon Boccanegra
1933: Peter Ibbetson
1934: Aida
1935: La Traviata
1936: Die Walküre
1937: Tristan und Isolde
1938: Otello
1939: Simon Boccanegra
1940: Un Ballo in Maschera
1941: Le Nozze di Figaro
1942: La Fille du Régiment
1943: Boris Godunov
1944: Faust
1945: Lohengrin
1946: Lakmé
1947: Un Ballo in Maschera
1948: Otello
1949: Der Rosenkavalier
1950: Don Carlo
1951: Aida
1952: La Forza del Destino
1953: Faust
1954: Gala Concert (Telecast)
1955: Les Contes d'Hoffmann
1956: Norma
1957: Eugene Onegin
1958: Tosca
1959: Il Trovatore
1960: Nabucco
1961: La Fanciulla del West
1962: Andrea Chénier
1963: Aida
1964: Lucia di Lammermoor
1965: Faust
1966: Antony and Cleopatra
1967: La Traviata
1968: Adriana Lecouvreur
1969: Aida
1970: Ernani
1971: Don Carlo
1972: Carmen
1973: Il Trovatore
1974: I Vespri Siciliani
1975: The Seige of Corinth
1976: Il Trovatore
1977: Boris Godunov
1978: Tannhäuser
1979: Otello
1980: Mahler: Symphony No. 2
1981: Norma
1982: Der Rosenkavalier
1983: Les Troyens
1984: Lohengrin
1985: Tosca
1986: Die Walküre
1987: Otello
1988: Il Trovatore
1989: Aida
1990: La Boheme
1991: Gala Concert (25th Lincoln Center Anniversary - Telecast)
1992: Les Contes d'Hoffmann
1993: Gala Concert: 25th Anniversaries of Domingo & Pavarotti
1994: Il Tabarro & Pagliacci (Unheralded 35th Anniversary for Stratas)
1995: Otello
1996: Andrea Chénier
1997: Carmen
1998: Samson et Dalila
1999: Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci
2000: Don Giovanni
2001: Gala: A Celebration of Verdi
2002: Gala: Fedora Act 2; Samson et Dalila Act 2; Otello Act 4
2003: La Traviata
2004: Otello
2005: Gala: Nozze di Figaro Act 1; Tosca Act 2; Samson et Dalila Act 3
2006: Madama Butterfly
2007: Lucia di Lammermoor
2008: Renee Fleming Gala
2009: Tosca
2010: Das Rheingold
2011: Anna Bolena
2012: L'Elisir d'Amore
2013: Eugene Onegin
2014: Le Nozze di Figaro

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