PBS is now streaming the documentary The Opera House, which chronicles the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s 50-year home at Lincoln Center. The movie, which also aired on PBS stations around the country May 25 as part of the Great Performances series, debuted in movie theatres in January.
Click here to watch the entire documentary online through June 8. The PBS stream may not be available outside the U.S.
In the excerpt above, Leontyne Price recalls the conversation that led to her opening the house with the premiere of Samuel Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra in 1966.
Directed by documentarian Susan Froemke, The Opera House covers the history of the New York institution from its original location on 39th St. and Broadway to the building of the current Lincoln Center landmark through present day. The movie features archival footage (including the 1959 Lincoln Center groundbreaking with President Eisenhower), stills and interviews and—all against the backdrop of 50 years of vocal performances at the house.
In the clip below, architect Kyna Leski shares the genesis story of the Met’s iconic “sputnik” chandeliers, which only came to be after her father Tad accidentally spilled paint over his sketches, creating a distinctive sparkle effect that now shines in the house’s lobby.