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abatt

Renovation Plans for the Metropolitan Opera House

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Oh, this is unhappy news, schedule-wise. It's been a couple of years since I followed along closely with their summer schedule -- what's been there recently?

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In recent years, the Lincoln Center summer festival brought POB, Mariinsky, and Australia Ballets. Didn't they perform at the State/Koch Theater? It seemed like a good use for that theater after the NYCB season is completed.

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The Australia and the POB were at the Koch, not the Met. Mariinsky was at the Met.

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Too bad they don't seem to planning to renovate the theater seating and access - the seats are uncomfortably crowded with no leg room, the sight lines are horrible for dance in the orchestra seating (you can't see over the people in front of you) and, worst of all, access to and from the orchestra eventually funnels everyone - the entire downstairs audience - through a single, pinched stairway that would be a deathtrap in the event of a stampede. It takes ten minutes of shuffling in a stuffed in crowd to get into and out of the place. The Met is the paradigm of how not to design a theater and after nearly 50 years they should do something about it.

MP

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Compared to the vast majority of Broadway theaters, I think the seats at the MET are very comfortable and spacious. Broadway seats are intentionally designed to be very tight with no leg room in order to increase the number of seats.

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Thanks for starting this thread, abatt. The article notes that the renovations are focusing on the "guts" of the theater rather than the audience's side:

The Met’s technology has fallen behind European opera houses, where many of the directors bringing new productions to New York are used to computerized controls that produce precise results for increasingly spectacular shows. At the Met stagehands still twiddle dials, plug in cables, consult numbered charts and use a lot of muscle.

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