City Pulse

By Elizabeth Greene

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The typical theatrical experience for an audience member is simply to sit back, enjoy the performance, and then go home. Sure, they may learn about the history and details of the show with the help of the program and can Ooh and Ahh at the set, costumes and some cool technical voo doo. That’s just about all there is to experience…well, not any more…

Beginning Friday, May 25th the Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met will be presenting Opera by Design, a unique exhibit displaying the inside workings of what goes into the design of the seven upcoming productions of the 2007-08 Metropolitan Opera season. Handmade set models will portray the plans, designs and details that the Met’s carpenters, painters, costumers, stagehands and craftspeople create for each individual show. The seven productions in the upcoming season are the most the Met has ever presented since their first year at Lincoln Center and contain a wide variety, ranging from Macbeth to Hansel and Gretel. The diversity of shows this season produce some diverse sets and costumes, which can be seen at the exhibit before they even take stage. Think of it as an exciting preview to the season!

The exhibit gives viewers the chance to truly observe the inner workings of what goes into creating an opera from the inside out and how the technical elements shape a performance. What you’ll find is that the stage isn’t all glitz and glamour; the exhibit demonstrates the logistics that go into producing a show as well as how these practicalities are used to create “magical visions for the stage,” says Dodie Kazanjian, Gallery Met Director.

The seven new premieres for the season have been designed by world renowned, award-winning production teams, so it can only be assured that the detailed and unique Opera by Design exhibit will enchant and delight viewers the same way an opera does!

Originally published May 2007
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