The Metropolitan Opera started its season Monday night with the comedy "L’Elisir d’Amore" ("The Elixir of Love") and simultaneous free outdoor screenings of the opera in Times Square and Lincoln Center.
The performance of the comic opera by Gaetano Donizetti begins eight months of opera at Lincoln Center and marks the first time a comedy has kicked off the season under general manager Peter Gelb.
A long list of celebrities came out to walk the glamorous premiere's red carpet.
"I got gussied up and came out to see if it would move me," said singer-songwriter Courtney Love.
New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire traded his basketball jersey for a tuxedo, saying, "I'm a fierce basketball player on the court but I'm a nice, romantic gentleman off the court."
Rock musicians Rob Thomas and Patti Smith also attended.
"After 20 years in the music biz I wanted to see what it's like when people actually know how to sing," said Thomas.
"If wasn't so skinny and talented I would have liked to been an opera singer," said Smith.
Master thespian Patrick Stewart appreciated all that opera has to offer
"I have been moved by performances I've seen where it's had to do with the acting as much as the singing," said Stewart.
Bucking tradition, star soprano Anna Netrebko also walked the red carpet
"It's a beautiful opera, I'm wearing a beautiful gown and I feel fantastic," she said.
The opera was also transmitted live on open-air screens at Lincoln Center Plaza and Times Square before thousands of spectators.
"Tonight is very special for us, not only because of the glittering social audience that's inside the auditorium, but also because of our ongoing efforts to make opera as accessible as possible for as many people as possible," Gelb said.
"You can see more out here than in a seat who knows where up high," said one outdoor spectator.
"I didn't get a ticket but I can come here and still see the entire opera for free," said another.
Indoor tickets start at $20 a performance.
Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb Talks About The New SeasonMetropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb spoke with NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon about the significance of the opening of the season.
NY1: Comic Opera Opens Season At The Met
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