New York’s Metropolitan Opera makes its home in one of the world’s largest and most beautiful opera houses and has presented the work of some of the world’s most celebrated singers and artists. If you’re planning a trip to New York City, a visit to the Met should absolutely be on your list.
Whether you’re a new opera-goer or just need some help sifting through the twenty-five different operas on offer at the Met this season, we’ve put together a quick guide of highlights to help you pick which show is right for you.
Set on the waterfront in Charleston, South Carolina, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is not only a beautiful and tragic love story, it also happens to be one of America’s most famous operas. Songs like “Summertime” have gone on to become classics and the original production made history as one of the first shows of its size to feature an all-black cast.
This Puccini classic has inspired countless other works—perhaps most notably the groundbreaking musical Rent. Following a group of artists living in 1830s Paris, and centering the love story of a poor poet and an ailing seamstress, La Boheme lives up to its name; it is a celebration of love and creation in the face of poverty.
Another classic opera that served as the inspiration for a famous musical (in this case Miss Saigon) Madama Buttefly tells the story of a beautiful geisha, Cio-Cio San, who falls in love with an American Naval Officer. This sweeping and visually stunning production is a perennial audience favorite at the Met.
The cold-hearted Princess Turandot demands that her suitors solve three riddles if they wish to seek her hand; three correct answers mean marriage, but answer just one wrong and be put to death. Puccini’s final opera takes its story from an old French fairy tale and places it in ancient China, resulting in a beautiful and epic production that somehow feels both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.
This fantastical spectacle—directed by The Lion King’s Julie Taymor—follows a young prince, Tamino, as he tries to win the hand of Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night. Magic is in high supply in this adventure, making it a great bet for new opera goers of all ages, as well as one of the Met’s most cherished holiday traditions.
Head over to the Metropolitan Opera’s page to see what else is playing this season—and book your tickets now to make this New York institution a part of your next visit.