Students from across the district were the guests of the Metropolitan Opera Company at Lincoln Center on Thursday, April 20, 2017, as part of their participation in the 21st Century Activity: The MET: HD Live in Schools. The students were met by Education Department and trip organizer, Dan Marshall and two opera house tour guides.
The students, accompanied by their teacher chaperones (Mrs. McGrath, Ms. Kovacs, Ms. Sinisi, and Mr. Wibben) were divided into two groups; elementary students and middle/high school students, and taken on a tour of this huge facility. They were able to view a few minutes of a rehearsal happening on the huge stage of the 3,800 seat opera house and learned about the almost perfect acoustical properties of the house. They also saw the beautiful crystal chandeliers that hang in the lobby and theater, which were a gift from the Australian government for our country's assistance in World War II. They were then taken by elevator to several different floors underground, where they observed the costume shop, wig-makers, special effects machinery, scenery and lighting production, as well as props and paining. In addition, we visited rehearsal studios and learned about the children's chorus and their assigned dressing rooms. They also loved seeing the doors and the animals come through, when used in productions!
Our guides were very knowledgeable and answered many questions. As we passed through the various underground tunnels, we even caught a glimpse of internationally known opera star Placido Domingo in a rehearsal. At the conclusion of our tour, we were taken into The Belmont Room, where we met 2004 Bethpage High School graduate Matt Rubin, the current assistant lighting director at the Met. He hold us about his path to his current career and how he often did work in technology during his high school years in Bethpage. A graduate of Hofstra University, he has traveled extensively and worked his way up to his current position. The students and teachers were able to ask him questions and pose for photographs.
Following a delicious lunch in the Lincoln Square area, the students boarded the bus for the trip home filled with information about this American Arts institution and looking forward to future opera experiences!