Live from the Metropolitan Opera

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Not to be confused with Metropolitan Opera Live in HD.

Live from the Metropolitan Opera (or: Live from the Met) is an American television program that presented performances of complete operas from the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television network. The program began in 1977, and was telecast live for its first few seasons. The first telecast, La Bohème, featured Luciano Pavarotti as Rodolfo and Renata Scotto as Mimi, with James Levine conducting; all three were interviewed during the intermission. Some of the celebrated opera singers featured on Live from the Met have included Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Samuel Ramey, Renée Fleming, Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Renata Scotto, Leontyne Price, and Sherrill Milnes. During its live broadcasts, the program featured lengthy interviews and features on opera topics during the intermissions. These segments were often up to a half-hour in length themselves.

In 1988, the program title was changed to The Metropolitan Opera Presents, to reflect the fact that the performances were now taped prior to broadcast.[1] Live from the Met functioned as a supplement to the regular Saturday Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts.[2] During its first fifteen years, the program was frequently simulcast, enabling some audiences to hear the opera in stereo via radio as well. Hosts of the program included Tony Randall, Beverly Sills, Speight Jenkins,[3] Alexander Scourby,[4] and Garrick Utley. The announcer was Peter Allen.

The Metropolitan Opera Presents was replaced on PBS in 2007 by Great Performances at the Met. Operas aired in this series are repeats of the performances presented live on video in movie theaters in the Met's "Live in HD" series. It is not always carried by PBS affiliates. Instead, it is shown on some cable channels which are not necessarily part of the basic package.


  1. ^ John J. O'Connor (2 March 1988). "TV Review; The Met Opera's Tales of Hoffmann". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  2. ^ John Rockwell (26 November 1989). "The Met on Radio And Its Impact On American Taste". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Speight Jenkins: My ultimate summer concert". The Seattle Times. 1 September 2002. 
  4. ^ Wolfgang Saxon (24 February 1985). "Alexander Scourby, 71, Dies; Actor Famous for His Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 

For an interesting article on the current 2010 Met HD Lives series, see:

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