A Backstage Look: The Metropolitan Opera

Text by Meghan Cooper, Earlham College ’16

October 19, 2014, seven NYAP folk arrive at Lincoln Center. Some teeming with energy, others flying by the seat of their pants, and still others wishing they had gotten a cup of coffee in first, all ready for a behind the scenes look at the Metropolitan Opera.

Photo by Owen Keogh
Photo by Owen Keogh

Adorning “Opera Guild Backstage Tour” lanyards, we were united with our guide, enthusiast and volunteer, John Hirsch. Within minutes, we knew it was to be a good day as he jollily informed us we’d be going on a different path than the other tour groups.

We scaled the perimeter of the auditorium, pausing to learn tidbits about the Met’s history, glimpsing rehearsal rooms, sets, costumes, and even the stage itself. With our fearless guide, John, we wove our way through the costume and scene shops and dressing rooms too. He brought to life the space with his insights gathered over many years. Recounting opera after opera and detailing the tremendous collaboration involved in bringing a single production to life.

For our final stop, John brought us from behind the scenes into the house where so many view the magic of the Metropolitan Opera. It was there, gazing around at the auditorium’s splendor, that one thing became very certain: the Metropolitan Opera had seven young patrons eager to return!



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