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The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

The Metropolitan Opera: Your Next City Adventure 


New York City’s Metropolitan Opera is an entertainment option that is available to NJIT students, yet rarely capitalized on. Located in Manhattan and with options for student and rush tickets, it is affordable, unique, and easily accessible.  

On Oct. 15, 2022, I had the privilege of going to the Metropolitan Opera with a friend from NJIT to see Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca,” an opera set in Rome during the Napoleonic wars. A Bonapartist named Angelotti Attavanti escapes prison and seeks refuge in a church. Painter Mario Cavaradossi enters the chapel, where he paints Mary Magdalene, a prominent figure in the Bible, using Attavanti’s blonde sister, Marchesa Attavanti, as a model.  

Cavaradossi compares his painting to a figurine of his brunette lover Floria Tosca, whose name contributes to the opera’s title. Attavanti then reveals himself to Cavaradossi — an old friend who offers to hide Attavanti from the police. However, Tosca is heard coming into the chapel as the two converse, and Attavanti once again hides away.  

Tosca instantly recognizes that she is not the muse for the painting and flies into a jealous rage, but Cavaradossi manages to console her; she leaves, reminding him of their planned meeting later that evening. Attavanti reappears and begins telling Cavaradossi of his escape, but is interrupted by a cannon, signaling a runaway. With no time to waste, both gentlemen flee to Cavaradossi’s manor.  

The secret police, led by the self-serving Baron Scarpia, enter the church and question the officials. At this point, Tosca enters a second time, and Scarpia provokes her jealousy by showing her a fan with the Attavanti family crest. She promptly storms off to confront Cavaradossi, followed by several secret police, as Scarpia reveals his plan to end Cavaradossi and subjugate Tosca. 

This entire display is just in Act I; those captivated by this plot are encouraged to search for it online or, better yet, attend a live performance. However, it would not be fair to look at an opera as a mere play, even one that causes one to ponder timeless concepts like lust, wrath, and greed, most clearly displayed by Baron Scarpia and present in other characters.  

Arguably, the best thing about an opera is the music. Opera singers sing over a full orchestra at times, in a manner such that the people in the back on the fifth floor can hear, while also ensuring that those seated directly in front of them are not deafened. It is difficult to explain the beauty of opera music for those who have not experienced it, but luckily it is always only a few clicks away.  

Some amazing arias, or songs, an opera novice might enjoy listening to on YouTube are the “Queen of the Night” aria from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” the “Toreador” aria from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” and the “Figaro” aria from Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”  

What about those who want to view the opera in person? Not a problem: it is easy, and even affordable! Any NJIT student can take the New Jersey Transit or PATH train to New York City from either the Newark Penn or Broad Street stations combined with the subway in Manhattan, with the 1 line stopping closest to the theater.  

Regular tickets start at just $32.50 for higher levels situated far away from the stage, although closer tickets can cost hundreds of dollars. However, there are a few tricks to get these pricier seats for less. Signing up for a free account on the Metropolitan Opera website will enable one to buy “rush tickets” once every 10 days, where a certain number of the more expensive tickets are blocked out and sold for just $25 with no additional fees. 

 These tickets go on sale at 12 p.m. on weekdays, 2 p.m. for Saturday evening performances, and four hours before any of the daytime performances. Additionally, signing up for a student account by uploading your NJIT identification number to the opera’s website will enable you to buy these tickets for only $35 plus a $2.50 processing fee.  

For your next outing to New York City, consider the Metropolitan Opera. It is local yet internationally renowned, expensive yet affordable, and certainly a unique experience. 

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Matthew Fleishman, Staff Writer
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