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A Day In Photos At The Met Opera

America’s largest performing arts organization is a beehive of activity. More than 1,000 singers, dancers, orchestra musicians, conductors, directors, stage hands, scenic artists, office workers, and others enter the building every day to help put on the more than 200 opera performances the company stages each year. Here is a selection of photos from March 26, 2014, showing a day in the life of the Metropolitan Opera.

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10:00 a.m.

Another morning in the Met lobby. The Met presents four different operas every week in this building, which houses one of the largest stages anywhere in the world. By the end of the season, the Met will have staged more than 200 performances of 26 different operas, ranging from Mozart’s Così fan tutte (1790), to Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, which had its U.S. premiere at the Met in October.

10:35 a.m.

Stage rehearsal with full orchestra for Arabella, Richard Strauss’s elegant romance set in 1860s Vienna. The opera hasn’t been staged by the Met in more than a decade; this season’s performances feature Swedish soprano Malin Byström as Arabella.

11:32 a.m.

New Jersey-born tenor James Valenti and Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais rehearse an early scene from Puccini’s heartbreaking Madama Butterfly. Both stars are singing their first Met performances of the leading roles in this opera, which returns to the stage in April.

12:15 p.m.

Twenty-six-year-old soprano Julie Adams, from Burbank, California, is one of nine finalists in this year’s Met National Council Auditions. This Sunday, March 30, she will perform on the Met stage for the first time at the Grand Finals Concert, after which judges will select this year’s winners—each of whom will receive a $15,000 cash prize and the chance to launch a major operatic career. Here, she gets a final touch-up on her gown from National Council Chairperson Camille LaBarre.

1:04 p.m.

Twenty-four-year-old tenor Rexford Tester, originally from Tazewell, Virginia, is another finalist in this year’s National Council Auditions. He goes over “Languir per una bella” from Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, one of his selections for Sunday afternoon’s concert, with conductor Marco Armiliato in a fifth-floor rehearsal studio.

1:16 p.m.

Margaret Juntwait, currently in her tenth season as the Met’s radio host, goes over a preliminary script for Saturday’s matinee broadcast of La Sonnambula. In addition to the Met’s 83-year history of Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts, which are heard all over the world, the company now broadcasts up to three live performances a week on Met Opera Radio, Sirius XM Channel 74.

2:10 p.m.

Changeover! The Met’s hard-working stage crew gets to work tearing down the sets from Arabella and rolling in the elaborate scenery for tonight’s performance, Puccini’s timeless love story La Bohème.

2:45 p.m.

The Met’s 4th-floor scenic shop is where artists create the scenic elements that are an essential part of every opera production. These painted trees are for Susan Stroman’s forthcoming production of The Merry Widow, opening on New Year’s Eve.

3:25 p.m.

Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who starred in this season’s opening night performance of Eugene Onegin, takes on a new villain role this month: Riccardo in Bellini’s I Puritani. Here he is at an early staging rehearsal for the bel canto opera.

3:58 p.m.

Lawrence Brownlee, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, is one of the Met’s leading bel canto tenors. Here he takes a break from rehearsing for his role of the hero Arturo in I Puritani, while showing off his company pride.

5:30 p.m.

Opera lovers line up to purchase $20 rush tickets for this evening’s performance of La Bohème. The Met’s rush ticket program makes thousands of tickets in prime seating locations available for $20 on weeknights and $25 on weekends.

6:48 p.m.

Patrons dine at the Grand Tier Restaurant before the performance begins. Anyone attending a performance on the Lincoln Center campus can make a reservation at the restaurant for a pre-performance dinner, and Met ticket holders can also dine during opera intermissions.

All photos by Marty Sohl and Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

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