Have you ever been to The Met? Or, like Cher in Moonstruck, do you need to ask “Where’s the Met?” Whether you’re an opera fan or not, anyone who is interested in interiors would thrill to the sight of the iconic crystal chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and how they rise up to the rafters as the lights dim. I attended a production of La Boheme on a school trip in the seventh grade, and I recall gawking, mouth agape, as these amazing crystal sculptures started moving. It’s not a sight, or feeling, that ever goes away! Did you see the movie Moonstruck? (I actually saw it this weekend for the first time in a long time). When Cher and Nicolas Cage attend La Boheme (they really do other works as well!), the movie totally captures the feeling I had in the seventh grade. The grandure is unbelievable.
What I didn’t know, is that the chandeliers, designed by Hans Harald Rath of distinguished chandelier manufacturer J&L Lobmeyr in Vienna, were installed in 1966 as a gift from Austria as a thank you for US aid in the aftermath of WW2.
This summer, eleven of the chandeliers were returned to their birthplace – the Lobmeyr factory – for refurbishment. Funded entirely by Swarovski, each chandelier has undergone a painstaking renovation process, including the replacement of around 50,000 beautiful Swarovski crystals custom-made for the Metropolitan Opera.
Tonight is the Opening Night Gala at The Met, featuring Renee Fleming performing three of her most famous roles. The question is… who will shine brighter?
It may not be over till the fat lady sings (Renee is NOT fat, but you know what I mean), but it doesn’t start till the chandeliers rise up!