Looking Back at the Metropolitan Opera

weegee_12973_1993

Weegee, [Metropolitan Opera House distortion], ca. 1966 (12937.1993)

July 16 is the start of the Metropolitan Opera’s Summer Recital Series. Founded in 1883, the Opera is now in its 129th season.

In the 1940s, Weegee photographed the Metropolitan Opera, resulting in one of his most famous images, The CriticHis photos illustrate how much the Met has changed–and stayed the same–over the past seventy years.

weegee_126_1982

Weegee, Metropolitan Opera House Rehearsel, 1944 (126.1982)

Members of the Metropolitan Opera’s male chorus rehearse their parts for the opening night of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, in which they appear as Knights.

weegee_7339_1993

Weegee, [Costume designer at Metropolitan Opera, New York], ca. 1944 (7339.1993)

It was not only the singers who wore gowns. The opera’s attendees dressed opulently, many of the women draped in jewels and fur coats. People came to the opera to see and be seen.

weegee_7369_1993

Weegee, Mrs. Cornelius V Whitney, ca. 1944 (7369.1993)

Eleanor Searle, the third wife of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, was an opera singer herself.  The Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers, now in its twenty-fifth year, was named in her honor.

Of course, the opera was not without humor:

weegee_7366_1993

Weegee, I Don’t Know If He’s Admiring Her Shoulder or Going to Take a Bite, Sherry Salon at Met, Met Opera, ca. 1943 (7366.1993)

About these ads
This entry was posted in Fans in a Flashbulb and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s