Talk:Metropolitan Opera

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Candidate for 2 separate articles?[edit]

Like the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera, London, which distinguish between the "company" aspect and the "theatre" aspect, this article might well be divided into two. There's plenty more to be said about each of the houses.

Vivaverdi 18:33, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I have been thinking this for a while. Probably it should eventually be 3 articles, Company, Old House and New House. I think we can wait a while, the whole article is still pretty thin considering what we are talking about. I intend on working on it further, the Company history especially. I'd also like to do details on the production history (Directors/Designers). Do you think the list of "Notable Conductors" is just a little bit random?

Pmasck 02:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

It might not need THREE articles: Houses #1 and #2 might be combined - both are/were the "Metropolitan Opera House", but I agree with the principle.
I broke up the article to create "Old" and "New", but quite a bit of expansion is certainly in order.... Please add more info - we need it... THEN let's figure it out....
Vivaverdi 03:14, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

MTC Awards inclusion[edit]

Surely, this is hardly worthwhile.

See my comment when editing: "MTV Music Awards barely relevant here (the MET is used for other things too), and certainly NOT in the "Company" section. We'll leave it for now to see if others will tolerate".

Vivaverdi 22:14, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

See my reversation of someone's changes back - and comments.

Vivaverdi 01:25, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Conductors[edit]

I thought this section made more sense if it was called "Principal Conductors." There were many "notable" conductors at the Met, but these were ones who had continuing responsibility for the repertoire and the orchestra. Markhh 07:32, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

It makes perfect sense to me. Viva-Verdi 18:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Why remove photo??[edit]

I've put it back. Viva-Verdi 01:06, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

First Recordings[edit]

A record collector friend finally sent me CDs taken from the complete LP collection of the famous Mapleson cylinders. Lionel Mapleson made the first live recordings at the Met from 1900 to 1904, using an Edison cylinder machine with a very large horn. He was able to pick up an incredible amount of sound for the time. Unfortunately, many of the cylinders have been worn over the years and have excessive surface noise, including bumps, clicks, and scratches. There has yet to be a comprehensive CD collection of these recordings, using current digital technology to improve the sound. Nevertheless, some of the cylinders still give us a very good idea of what audiences heard at the Met in the early years of the twentieth century. Sallyrob (talk) 18:02, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think a new section entitled "The Met on Record" is warranted. This could document the Met's recorded history from the Mapleson cylinders through the complete opera recordings of the 1940's-50's and 1990's to today's DVD releases.Markhh (talk) 06:23, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

History[edit]

This section still needs a lot of expansion. Important topics needing to be added include: the financial crisis of the early 1930's that led to the creation of the Met Opera Assoc as new owners; Volpe's whole era; the appointment and untimely death of Goeran Gentele and others.Markhh (talk) 06:29, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Deaths at the Met[edit]

Strange topic.--Parkwells (talk) 19:48, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I agree. Is it necessary? Should it be removed perhaps? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.246.176.56 (talk) 20:18, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I think it's fine as it is. A little weird but okay as long as it's kept to a bare minimum. Markhh (talk) 20:35, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Maybe a section on "notable events" would be better? That could cover the deaths while also being more general, allowing for the listing of notable performances and other events, and a bit less... strange. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.6.157.136 (talk) 22:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Finest in the world? The best?[edit]

The Met is obviously one good opera house with a good opera company. However, saying that it is the “best”, that “most leading opera artists consider an engagement at the Met as a key part of their career”, that “the Met's artistic standards are acknowledged to be among the highest in the world” and that “the orchestra is considered to be one of the finest anywhere”, even if such statements are sourced, don't follow the standards of objectivity that should be found in an encyclopedia article. Also, they lack sources. I question whether these edits have followed WP:NPOV. I have tagged them as lacking sources, but I suggest they should be removed. Cheers! --Karljoos (talk) 20:39, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I have answered your similar suggestion at Talk:Royal Opera House. Sources for the statements would be nice, but these are facts, and users have a right to know them. --Catgut (talk) 10:59, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

I have never found such thing in the Britannica. This is neither objective encyclopedic content nor non-neutral POV. This article reads like a self-promoting prospectus. A good example of a neutral article: Juilliard is a good music school, and the article simply says "The Juilliard School, located in New York City, is a performing arts conservatory. It is informally identified as simply Juilliard, and trains in dance, drama, and music. Now at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the school instructs about 800 undergraduates and graduate students" and they make no reference to any prestige or reputation or value judgement about the school. Also, reputable and verifiable sources are essential for an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. If you can't provide sources indicating who says that, then it should be removed. --Karljoos (talk) 14:22, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

It makes me feel like whoever set up this page has a large inferiority complex about the Met. Reading it as someone who doesn't know anything about the opera house, I got the impression that it's secondary in prestige to others, and that someone wants to make it appear otherwise. Really, if it's "the best," let it speak for itself and stop propping it up. 140.233.43.160 (talk) 04:38, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Stage length[edit]

How long is the stage??? I'm just looking for a doll stage I'm looking at making for my duaghters!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.35.109.83 (talk) 04:52, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

GA/FA?[edit]

I am thinking about getting the article up to GA/FA status. For an example of what the Met's article should look like if it reaches FA, please see English National Opera. Here's what we need to do:

  • Lead section - can be trimmed down to four paragraphs, actually needs to summarize the article.
  • History section - may need a complete rewrite.
  • Repertoire section - I'm quite surprised that this does not have a repertoire section.
  • Recordings section - may need to be added as well.

All are welcome to assist in this process. Any other thoughts or objections would be appreciated. Thanks, Lord Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 04:41, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Just saw the notice on the talk page for WT:OPERA. I've been following the Met for a number of decades, and feel that the article is far from FA/GA status. A lot of weight is given to the past 10 years, with smaller amounts as you go back in history. The pre-1966 history is almost meagre and not balanced. Why is there a section "The Met in Philadelphia"? The section on "Deaths at the Met" (which I think should be demoted) is larger than any section about people who sang, conducted, directed, or composed for the institution. I forget the name of the article that characterizes one way of writing history as if it's caused entirely by men - and that's how this article is written, a notion I disagree with. There are other societal and social forces at work. If one is serious about improving this article, one has to remember there are things such as books and articles that are not on the web and for which you have to go to a library. -- kosboot (talk) 13:41, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Dear kosboot, curious that two weeks after the original posting, we post diametrically opposing suggestions on this within 30 minutes. Part of the problem is the perennial ambiguity between 'company' and 'theatre': you ask why the Met in Philadelphia is mentioned. Have a look at the Grove Dictionary of Opera article on "Metropolitan Opera" .. 1.9 column pages, and all on the touring activities of the various companies with this name. Scarabocchio (talk) 14:07, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm ... the Grove Opera article on the Metropolitan Opera House itself (see under New York, ss2) is really quite short .... 1.5 pages (out of a total of 11,000), but concentrating fully on the history: impresarios, singers, premieres. The last mentioned date is the premiere of John Corigliano's Ghosts of Versailles in December 1991, though the book didn't go to press for a further 5(?) years. Surely one of the advantages of an online reference resource is that it it can provide better up-to-date info than the stuff on dead trees? Scarabocchio (talk) 14:40, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I would think a section on the Met's extensive touring would be more appropriate than just a section on Philadelphia (Atlanta was the site of one of the Met's rare encores prior to recent times). As far as dead trees, yes, the web is great for recent information. But as I said above, my main issue with the article is that there's no substantial history so the picture that is presented of the current company is askew. -- kosboot (talk) 16:42, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the touring of the company as a whole would make a better section to the article. I just happened to add the Philadelphia information because I was interested in the Met's close association with my native city. By all means feel free to restructure the article. That said, the Met toured to Philadelphia much more than any other city, and it was the only city other then NYC where the company actually owned and opperated another opera house.4meter4 (talk) 23:30, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with a section on the company's relationship with Philadelphia. It was major site of the company's activities throughout the first half of the 20th Century, including, as 4meter4 points out, owning and operating a separate "Metropolitan Opera House" there. The Met visited the city regularly thoughout the season, not just as a stop on the Spring tour. The Spring tour is discussed in the article but could be spun off into its own section.
I agree that the Met article, which has just gradually evolved from a stub, can use a lot of help. It needs clearer organization, a better history that describes artistic and administrative trends, and a better summation of how the theatre operates today. There is much source material to be mined, including several histories of the company written over the decades. Much of the description of the theatre at present is currently in the intro but could be moved to a separate section and rewritten and brought up to date. Another trend I find tiresome, are the undeveloped and endless lists of artists' names at each historical era through the article. Everyone likes to see the names of their favorites mentioned, but I think these should be eliminated in favor of actual discussion of a number the most important artists that are key in the company's history. The complete lists can be found elsewhere, including the Met website and a separate WP page. Cheers! Markhh (talk) 00:14, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Referring back to Lord Sjones23's suggested organization of the article, I have a question -- does this contemplate removing the sections for each General Manager, or are these sections seen as good subsections for the organization of the history section? For instances, many people refer to the "Bing era" as a distinct period, but one might also call this "post-war" or use some other system. A few other thoughts --
  1. Somewhere there should be a section for operatic works that premiered at the Met (not a long section, sadly) -- this is an important part of what any opera company does, and there have been some notable ones like Fanciulla.
  2. James Levine is (I think rightly) seen as having had a major impact on the house over the last 40 years -- the article should probably give Levine co-equal status with the General Managers (i.e., if there is a Bing section and a Volpe section there should be a Levine section, or a section "Volpe/Levine".
  3. The efforts of the house to cultivate young singers should be added -- there doesn't seem to be mention of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
  4. The life of the house seems at times to be influenced by particular major benefactors (e.g., Sybil Harrington, Ann Ziff -- to whom we owe the current Ring), and this is I imagine something that distinguishes the Met from many European houses. Neither Harrington nor Ziff are mentioned currently. I'm not suggesting that merely giving money, without more, is something that should be included, but where the gifts have impacted the house in a major way, they should be part of the picture.
  5. With respect to the Philadelphia question, it might make sense to include Philadelphia, Met touring (such as tours to Japan), radio and TV broadcasting, and the HD theatrical broadcasts together, as they all have to do with reaching audiences beyond the Met house itself. Also included in this section could be the failed 'mini-Met' project of Levine, although that could also go in the 'Opera houses' section.
  6. Finally, Google Books has a lot of unrestricted back issues of New York magazine, including a lot of material by Peter G. Davis about the Met, which can be a good source of additional material for recent times. See: http://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=%22metropolitan+opera%22+%22new+York+magazine%22&tbs=,bkv:f&num=10 David.thompson.esq (talk) 17:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
There's already a List of premieres at the Metropolitan Opera (which includes world and American premieres). Seems like most people think that the article would be expandable by chronology using general managers to designate time periods (all the histories of the Met that I've read do the same). I also agree that there should be something more about the benefactors of the organization - not just at its beginning (the Met began as a breakaway for the upper classes who felt locked out of other venues) but through its history. From what people above say, I think the danger of expansion is dwelling too much on the present and neglecting aspects of the past, particularly as the opera house took much more center stage in society and life than it does today. -- kosboot (talk) 21:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)