|Alternative Spellings||MET Orchestra|
|City||New York, NY, United States|
|Country||United States of America|
Though the first season of the Metropolitan Opera came in 1883-1884, efforts to found the [...] company began in 1880, led by the Morgan and Vanderbilt families. Its first season was launched with [...] Auguste Vianesi as music director and conductor. Vianesi's tenure was short-lived. The opera's board appointed its secretary, Edmund Stanton, to contract singers appropriate for German opera, which he ably did. He also engaged Wagner protégé Anton Seidl to become music director and conductor in 1886.
Seidl worked well with the singers and also helped shape the orchestra into a first-rate ensemble. Irish-American composer Victor Herbert [...] joined the orchestra in 1886. His wife, Therese Herbert-Förster, had been engaged to sing at the Met by Stanton. [...]
In 1908, Toscanini made his debut at the Met. He would serve as music director for seven years, and arguably his tenure resulted in stronger musicianship in the orchestra's ranks [...].
On December 25, 1931, the Metropolitan Opera began radio broadcasts, which have endured to this day. In this venue, the orchestra's role in performance became more conspicuous, since the audience could obviously not see the action, but only hear the music. Television broadcasts began on March 10, 1940, featuring excerpts from various operas. The next one would not take place until November 29, 1948 [...]. Television broadcasts have endured up to the current day, with semi-regular appearances on the PBS network.
In the war and postwar eras, the orchestra was led by some of the greatest conductors of the day, [...] George Szell, a regular from 1942 to 1946 [...]. By this time the orchestra was probably the finest opera house ensemble in the world. At least some of their success could be credited to the dynamic directorship of Rudolph Bing, who held the post from 1950 to 1972. [...]
In 1986, James Levine took over as artistic and music director [...]. The orchestra has been called upon to perform in a number of new works, including modern ones like Glass' The Voyage (1992) and Harbison's The Great Gatsby (1999), as well as early 20th century masterpieces like Busoni's Doktor Faust and Prokofiev's The Gambler [...]. As health issues forced Levine to curtail his activities, guest such as Valery Gergiev were brought in until Fabio Luisi was named principal conductor in 2011. AllMusic