Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb is the special guest interviewee, with Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi, Sunday, February 21 at 2 PM in Juilliard's Paul Hall (155 W. 65th Street). They discuss Mr. Gelb's approach to innovation and change at the world-famous opera house, with a question/answer session finale. This FREE, public event is part of an otherwise alumni-only day of panels, seminars, and a career expo comprising Juilliard's Alumni College, 2010: Performing Arts in the 21st Century: Examining Change and Taking Charge. The day is aimed at providing crucial career guidance and information for Juilliard's dance, drama, and music alumni and is open to current Juilliard students as well. A range of topics includes practical information about new directions in performing arts and creative, entrepreneurial ways to navigate these challenging times. Also that day, Juilliard holds a Career Expo with representatives from various service organizations, such as Actors' Equity, Career Transition for Dancers, The League of American Orchestra, and others.
Dr. Polisi's interview with Mr. Gelb is open to the general public, and FREE tickets will be available beginning February 8 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard (155 West 65th Street). For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.
Since joining the Met in January 2005 and with his appointment as General Manager in August 2006, Peter Gelb's positioning of the company for the 21st-century has been a topic much discussed in arts circles. There's no escaping the conclusion that awareness of the Met and visibility of its performances is at an all-time high in the U.S. and abroad. Working closely with James Levine, the Met's longtime Music Director, as well as the board of directors, staff, and administration, to prepare for the Met's future, an intricate plan for programming and entrepreneurship took shape. The Metropolitan Opera once again has taken a leadership role among opera houses and other arts organizations, providing a model for other groups with its creative and groundbreaking public outreach initiatives. Juilliard's mission of creating the finest performers and leaders for the future of the performing arts is enhanced by its relationships with its neighbors at Lincoln Center, and the opportunity to hear, first hand, such approaches to innovation.
About the Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera was founded in 1883. The first Metropolitan Opera House was built on Broadway and 39th Street by a group of wealthy business leaders who wanted their own opera house. The Met moved to Lincoln Center in September 1966.
The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers from around the world. Known as the venue for the world's greatest voices, the Met has been under the musical direction of James Levine since 1976. Maestro Levine is credited with having created one of opera's finest orchestras and choruses. Each season the Met stages more than 200 opera performances in New York. More than 800,000 people attend the performances in the opera house during the season and millions more experience the Met through advanced new media distribution initiatives and state-of-the-art technology.
After taking the helm at the Met, Peter Gelb began to launch initiatives aimed at revitalizing opera and connecting it to a wider audience. A fundamental goal has been to recruit increased numbers of the world's great theater directors to enhance the theatricality of the Met's productions and complement the extraordinary musical standards established by Music Director James Levine. Mr. Gelb also is committed to securing more engagements each season from the world's top singers. One of the most groundbreaking and successful of his new initiatives is The Met: Live in HD, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series of live performance transmissions shown in high definition in movie theaters across North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, which has played to a paying audience of more than 1.8 million in the 2008-09 season. In September 2006, Sirius Satellite Radio launched Metropolitan Opera Radio, an around-the-clock channel broadcasting four live performances a week as well as historic performances from the Met's vast radio archive, now heard on Sirius XM.
Other audience-building initiatives launched by Mr. Gelb include free open houses for the public; a free live transmission of the opening-night performance onto giant screens at Times Square and Lincoln Center Plaza; the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program, which offers select orchestra seats for weekday performances at the dramatically reduced price of $20; and the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, a contemporary art exhibition space in the Met lobby.
The Juilliard School and the Metropolitan Opera enjoy a close relationship as constituent organizations of Lincoln Center. In February 2008, the Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard announced a collaborative training program to identify and train the finest young opera singers and accompanists, preparing them for careers in the world's great opera houses. This collaboration was announced by Mr. Gelb and Dr. Joseph W. Polisi. James Levine will serve as the program's Artistic Director, and Brian Zeger, Artistic Director of Juilliard Vocal Arts, will serve as Executive Director. The program begins with the 2010-2011 season.
About The Juilliard School
The Juilliard School established this country's standard for education in the performing arts, beginning with music in 1905. In 1951, its Dance Division was established, with combined training in contemporary and ballet technique. Juilliard became part of Lincoln Center in 1968, and added a four-year drama program. A residence hall - the School's first - was completed in 1990, and in 2001, Juilliard broke new ground with the addition of its jazz program; a graduate program in Historical Performance began in the fall 2009, the same year that Juilliard inaugurated its partnership with the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. As Juilliard commences its second century of excellence, it has expanded its facilities with a 39,000 square-foot addition, completed in 2009. Currently more than 800 young artists from 39 states (plus Washington, D.C.) and 46 foreign countries attend Juilliard. Among Juilliard's notable alumni are Van Cliburn, James Conlon, Miles Davis, Renée Fleming, Philip Glass, Kevin Kline, James Levine, Laura Linney, Patti LuPone, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Audra McDonald, Itzhak Perlman, Steve Reich, Kevin Spacey, Paul Taylor, and Robin Williams, among many others. For more information, visit Juilliard's Web site at www.juilliard.edu.