The documentary The Opera House, which charts the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s 50-year home at Lincoln Center, airs on PBS May 25 at 9 PM ET as part of the Great Performances series.
Watch a clip above, in which 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.
The Opera House will also air in New York in a follow-up broadcast June 1 at 1AM ET on WLIW21.
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.