As the longest running classical music radio program in American broadcasting history, the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts hold a special place in the nation's cultural development. In celebration of the 75th anniversary season of the Met broadcasts, there are several special exhibitions currently being shown.
The Museum of Television and Radio, in both New York and Los Angeles, is offering a season-long listening series of legendary Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts‹many of them including the intermission features. The operas are played continuously in the Ralph Guild Radio Listening Room in New York, and in the Ahmanson Listening Room in Los Angeles. Performances include Rosa Ponselle in La Traviata, Lotte Lehmann in Der Rosenkavalier, Jussi Björling and Bidú Sayão in Roméo et Juliette, Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli in Il Trovatore, and Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti in La Fille du Régiment are available for listening at various times in the coming year. In addition, the public can listen to other Met broadcasts that the Museum has in its library. The Museum in New York is at 25 West 52nd Street, and in Los Angeles at 465 North Beverly Drive. Complete schedules and more information is available at www.mtr.org.
To date, 1,477 radio broadcasts have taken place from the Met stage, many of them recorded. The Met makes available hundreds of broadcasts from its archive to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Library visitors can listen to the historic collection in private listening booths and, during this anniversary season, view memorabilia related to the Met broadcasts in six display cases in the third floor reading room.
Finally, an exhibition of costumes, photographs, and other items relating to the broadcasts is currently on view throughout the opera house. Displays honoring the 75th anniversary season of the Met broadcasts are located in Founders Hall on the Concourse level, the Parterre, the Dress Circle, and TV lounge areas on either side of the Orchestra level.