50th Anniversary Set Now Available on Met Opera on Demand

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, the Met has produced a 22-CD box set called The Inaugural Season: Extraordinary Met Performances from 1966–67. The entire set is now available to stream on Met Opera on Demand.

The Inaugural Season Box Set

Download the box set booklet.

On September 16, 1966, the new Metropolitan Opera House opened in Lincoln Center with the world premiere of Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, with Leontyne Price and Justino Díaz in the title roles. That first season in the Met’s new home not only ushered in a new age of theatrical possibility, it also featured an embarrassment of vocal riches, with such incomparable artists as Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli facing off in an unforgettable Turandot; Joan Sutherland delivering a Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene for the ages; and Jon Vickers making a historic role debut in Peter Grimes. Now, ten performances from that inaugural season—plus bonus highlights—have been collected and remastered in this essential milestone set, also featuring such legends as Grace Bumbry, Mirella Freni, Christa Ludwig, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, Leonie Rysanek, Renata Tebaldi, Carlo Bergonzi, Robert Merrill, and Richard Tucker, among others.



Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra (Barber): radio broadcast recorded on 9/16/1966, conducted by Thomas Schippers and starring Leontyne Price, Jess Thomas, and Justino Díaz.








Turandot (Puccini): radio broadcast recorded on 12/3/1966, conducted by Zubin Mehta and starring Birgit Nilsson, Mirella Freni, Franco Corelli, and Bonaldo Giaiotti.







Die Frau ohne Schatten

Die Frau ohne Schatten (R. Strauss): radio broadcast recorded on 12/17/1966, conducted by Karl Böhm and starring Leonie Rysanek, Christa Ludwig, Irene Dalis, James King, and Walter Berry.







Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): radio broadcast recorded on 12/31/1966, conducted by Richard Bonynge and starring Joan Sutherland, Richard Tucker, Anselmo Colzani, and Nicola Ghiuselev.







Peter Grimes

Peter Grimes (Britten): radio broadcast recorded on 2/11/1967, conducted by Colin Davis and starring Lucine Amara, Jon Vickers, and Geraint Evans.








Aida (Verdi): radio broadcast recorded on 2/25/1967, conducted by Thomas Schippers and starring Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, Carlo Bergonzi, Robert Merrill, and Jerome Hines.







Die Zauberflöte

Die Zauberflöte (Mozart): radio broadcast recorded on 3/4/1967, conducted by Josef Krips and starring Judith Raskin, Roberta Peters, George Shirley, Theodor Uppman, and John Macurdy.








Otello (Verdi): radio broadcast recorded on 3/11/1967, conducted by Zubin Mehta and starring Montserrat Caballé, James McCracken, and Tito Gobbi.







Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly (Puccini): radio broadcast recorded on 3/18/1967, conducted by Francesco Molinari-Pradelli and starring Renata Scotto, Nedda Casei, George Shirley, and Ron Bottcher.








Rigoletto (Verdi): radio broadcast recorded on 4/8/1967, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli and starring Roberta Peters, Belén Amparan, Nicolai Gedda, Cornell MacNeil, and Bonaldo Giaiotti.







Highlights of the 1966-67 Season

Highlights of the 1966–67 Season: bonus features include interviews from the live radio broadcast of Opening Night of the new house on September 16, 1966, and excerpts from other operas broadcast during the inaugural season.







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