The Metropolitan Opera House

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
The Metropolitan Opera House
Broadway at 65th Street
New York, N.Y. 10023
Organ Specifications:
Broadway at 65th Street – Lincoln Center (since 1966):
► II/22 Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co., Op. 1444 (1965)
1411 Broadway at 39th Street (1883-1966):
► I/13 Farrand & Votey Co., Op. 711 (1893)
► I/15 Hilborne L. Roosevelt, Op. 94 (1882)
The first Metropolitan Opera House opened on October 22, 1883, with a performance of Faust. Located at 1411 Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets, it was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady. Gutted by fire on August 27, 1892, the theater was immediately rebuilt and then in 1903 its interior was extensively renovated again by the architects Carrère and Hastings. The familiar red and gold interior associated with the house dates from this time. The theater was noted for its elegance and excellent acoustics and it provided a glamorous home for the company. Its stage facilities, however, were found to be severely inadequate from its earliest days. Many plans for a new opera house were explored, but it was only with the development of Lincoln Center that the Met was able to build a new home. The original Metropolitan Opera House closed April 16, 1966 with a lavish farewell gala performance. It was demolished in 1967.
The present Metropolitan Opera House, with approximately 3,800 seats, is located in Lincoln Center at Lincoln Square in the Upper West Side and was designed by architect Wallace K. Harrison. After numerous revisions to its design, the new building opened September 16, 1966 with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra. The theater, while large, is noted for its excellent acoustics. The stage facilities, state of the art when the theater was built, continue to be updated technically and are capable of handling multiple large complex opera productions simultaneously. When the opera company is on hiatus, the Opera House is home to performances of American Ballet Theatre and touring opera and ballet companies.
Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company
Boston, Mass. – Opus 1444 (1965)
Electro-pneumatic action
Setterboard combination action
2 manuals, 20 registers, 13 stops, 22 ranks
The organ in The Metropolitan Opera House was built by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston. While the opus number was assigned in 1963 the organ was not installed until 1965. All of the pipes are enclosed in a movable metal box that is located backstage, and the console is in the orchestra pit. Two stops were taken from stock: the Pedal 16' Subbass is from Skinner Organ Co.'s Op. 408 (Trinity Church, New York City) and both the pipes and chest of the Pedal 32' Contre Bombarde are from Op. 1433 (First Unitarian Church, Worcester, Mass.). A tuning keyboard was added in 1966.
Manual I – 61 notes, enclosed (5' pressure)
PrinzipalMixtur IV-VI ranks
Super Oktav
Flute HarmoniqueSub
Ripieno VI ranks
Pedal – 32 notes (5' pressure)
Man I
Sanftbass (ext.)
Contre Bombarde (ext.)
Man. I
Man. II
Man. II
Man. II
6 general pistons
Balanced Swell Pedal
Crescendo Pedal
Farrand & Votey Co.
Detroit, Mich. – Opus 711 (1893)
Electro-pneumatic action
1 manual, 13 registers, 11 stops, 13 ranks
In 1893, the Farrand & Votey Company of Detroit rebuilt the 1882 Roosevelt organ as part of a major remodeling of the Metropolitan Opera House. The contract, dated December 13, 1893, stated that Farrand & Votey would have the organ 'set up complete and ready for use . . . within four weeks from the receipt of order, the keybox (console) to be on castors and provided with one hundred feet of cable so that it may be used in the orchestra or on any portion of the stage.'
Built at a total cost of $3,675, the organ included a 1½ H.P. motor, subcontracted to The C. & C. Electric Motor Company of New York City, and an organ balcony that was built by Henry Otterbein at a cost of $150. For an additional $550, the prepared-for Pedal Trombone unit would be installed, but there is no evidence that the stop was ever added.
The fate of this organ is unknown, although it seems probable that the organ was demolished with the building in 1967.
Below are the specifications from the original contract. A typescript, dated October 1917, in the American Organ Archives, shows two additional couplers: Manual Suboctaves and Pedal Octaves.
Great Organ– 61 notes, enclosed
Open Diapason
Flute Harmonique
Geigen Principal
Mixture III ranks
Hohl Pfeife
Pedal Organ – 30 notes
Open Diapason
Flute (fr. 16' Bourdon)
Tromba (fr. 16')
Octave (fr. 16' Diapason)
Coupler – Manual Octaves
Coupler – Manual to Pedal
Crescendo and Full Organ Pedal
Balanced Swell Pedal
Hilborne L. Roosevelt
New York City – Opus 94 (1882)
Electro-pneumatic action
1 manual, 12 stops, 15 ranks
This organ was originally built for the 1882 Music Festival which took place in the Seventh Regiment Armory at 643 Park Avenue. The organ was of large scale and the pipes were voiced on special pressures. There was a detached console, and the action was electro-pneumatic. After the close of the festival, the organ was dismantled and sent to Chicago for another music festival there. Later, it was installed in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, with two stops omitted, and it was damaged by fire in 1892. Following is the specification of the original Roosevelt organ.
Great Organ – 58 notes
Open Diapason Mixture IV ranks
Viola di gamba Tuba Mirabilis
Doppelflöte Tremulant
Open Diapason
Open Diapason
Callahan, Charles. Aeolian-Skinner Remembered: A History in Letters. Minneapolis: Randall M. Egan, 1996.
'Endnotes,' The Tracker (Vol. 54, No. 4, Fall 2010). Specifications of Farrand & Votey organ, Op. 711 (1893).
Kinzey, Allen, and Sand Lawn, comps. E.M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List. New Rev. Ed. Richmond: The Organ Historical Society, 1997.
Lincoln Center website: www.lincolncenter.org
Webber, F.R. 'Organ Scrapbook' in Organ Historical Society Archives, Princeton, N.J. Specifications of 1882 Roosevelt organ. Courtesy Jonathan Bowen.
Callahan, Charles. Aeolian-Skinner Remembered: A History in Letters. Console of Aeolian-Skinner Organ, Op. 1444 (1965).
Manhattan Post Card Co. Metropolitan Opera House (1904).
  1. The Metropolitan Opera House
  2. The Metropolitan Opera House Dress Code

The Metropolitan Opera (commonly known as the Met) is an American opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. New York City venue located at 1411 Broadway. The first home of the Metropolitan Opera Company, it was opened in 1883 and demolished in 1967. The current Metropolitan Opera House opened in 1966 at Lincoln Center. Located between West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.

NYC AGO Home Page Back to NYC Organ Project List

New York City's Metropolitan Opera Company has been giving performances since 1883. Known as the 'Met' they feature around 30 different operas a wide range of musical genres throughout their season which runs from the latter part of September through to May. Performances are held Monday through Saturday evenings along with a Saturday afternoon matinee.

Performances are held Monday through Saturday evenings along with a Saturday afternoon matinee. The present home of the Metropolitan Opera is the magnificent Metropolitan Opera House, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Broadway. It seats about 3800 patrons with room for about another 195 standees and provides excellent acoustics. During the off season for the Met the Opera House hosts performances by the American Ballet Theatre and other touring ballets and operas.

If you don't have the opportunity to take in a performance, you can take a backstage tour or a Tour of the Lincoln Center for a fee. See Metropolitan Opera Backstage Tours for times and rates.

Nearby attractions include Central Park and Carnegie Hall

The Metropolitan Opera House

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website:Metropolitan Opera House

Fee: Yes

Open Now

Regular Hours:
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website, especially where Covid restrictions are in effect.

  • Monday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Category: Opera & Ballet

Address: 30 Lincoln Center Plz
New York, NY 10023

Phone:(212) 362-6000



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The Metropolitan Opera House

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Subway LineNearest StationWalking Time
1 Local66th Street / Lincoln Center Station3 minutes

How to get to Metropolitan Opera House by Subway

Take the 1 Local Subway Train to 66th Street / Lincoln Center Station and go south on Broadway and a slight right on Columbus Avenue to just past 64th Street. The Metropolitan Opera House is across the plaza on your right.

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