An experienced organist, Simon Whalley served as Musical Director for the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in New York. While living in New York, Simon Whalley often attended performances at the Metropolitan Opera.
Established in the early 1880s, the original Metropolitan Opera (the “Met”) was built on Broadway by local businessmen who believed the city should have a venue that catered to their tastes. Once completed, the Met hosted many of the era’s most famous performers, including Lilli Lehmann, known for her interpretation of Richard Wagner’s works. Other famed contributors to the Met in its early years included Enrico Caruso and Nellie Melba.
Over time, the Met outgrew its original building. In 1966, a new more appropriate space was given to the Met at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where it remains today. In fact, modern Met performances are accessible not only to local New York audiences, but also to people throughout the world through live broadcasts in movie theaters and on public television.
The 2017-18 season of the Met’s live cinema broadcasts include performances of Cendrillon, Tosca, and The Exterminating Angel.