88 and counting - The Met Radio Broadcast Season's 88th consecutive year needs future support

The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1883, with its first opera house built on Broadway and 39th Street. In September 1966, the Met joined with other New York institutions in forming Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and moved to its current home at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.

Since 1931, the Met has been a pioneering force in developing media programs to engage diverse audiences, providing global access to world-class opera. The Saturday Matinee Broadcast series transmits weekly from the stage of opera house to more than 600 radio stations across the country, as well as to 42 countries on five continents around the world. In its 13th season, The Met: Live in HD, reaches more than 2,200 theaters across 73 countries on six continents, and has sold more than 25 million tickets. Continuing a partnership that began in 1977, the award-winning PBS series, Great Performances at the Met, is presented by Thirteen/WNET, and through other broadcasting systems internationally, and includes ten Live in HD presentations, receiving nearly 1.5 million viewer impressions annually.

The Met also provides a myriad of free education and outreach initiatives to engage with communities broadly and build new audiences.

Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts series is the longest-running continuous classical music radio program in American broadcast history and is a critical component of the Met’s public outreach and audience development efforts. Every season, broadcasts bring live performances from the Met Opera’s stage at Lincoln Center to listeners around the globe, many of whom might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy exceptional opera. These broadcasts are provided at no cost to participating radio stations and listeners, enabling the Met to bring live opera to the largest audience of any performing arts organization in the world.

The radio broadcasts run every year for approximately 24 weeks from December to May, transmitting live performances to listeners in 42 countries across five continents. Broadcasts are available through radios and are streamed through many affiliates’ websites to reach nearly 11 million listeners annually. Since the program’s inception, there have been more than 1,800 Met Opera broadcasts of nearly 200 different operas, all featuring the world’s finest and most celebrated artists working in opera. Broadcasts also include insightful commentary and educational segments, such as the popular live “Opera Quiz,” which features questions submitted by the listening public each week. Panelists including current and former performers and other respected artists and scholars answer questions and discuss related topics.

Broadcasts provide performances at no cost, eliminating financial barriers that prevent access to the art form. Unlike other radio programs, Saturday Matinee Radio Broadcasts are live, sharing performances with listeners in other time zones as if they were alongside audiences at the Met’s Opera house in New York City. And as one of the world’s leading opera companies, the Met features today’s most acclaimed and distinguished opera performers, so listeners have access to world-class performances every week of the broadcast season.

The Metropolitan Opera’s 88th consecutive radio broadcast season will feature four new productions, including Tony Award-winner Darko Tresnjak’s new production of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, starring Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna; the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s second Met-commissioned opera, Marnie, starring Isabel Leonard and Christopher Maltman; Yannick Nézet-Séguin making his first appearance as The Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director as he conducts Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer’s new production of Verdi’s La Traviata, with Diana Damrau starring opposite Juan Diego Flórez; and Sir David McVicar’s new staging of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, starring Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała. The 2018–19 broadcast season will also feature revival productions of beloved classics of the operatic repertoire, including Verdi’s Rigoletto and Puccini’s Tosca, appealing to new comers to the art form and long-time broadcast enthusiasts alike.

Tune in and enjoy.

Hayley Little