Ringing in its 125th anniversary season, the Metropolitan Opera is known world-wide as the premier venue for the world's greatest voices and as the vibrant home for the most talented artists of our day. The most widely heard opera company in the world, the Met was founded in 1883. The first Metropolitan Opera House was built on Broadway and 39th Street by a group of wealthy businessmen; decades later, the Met joined with other institutions to form the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and a new home became possible. The new, state-of-the-art facilities opened at Lincoln Center in 1966, where dozens of U.S. and world premieres have since been staged by the most imaginative directors in the industry, among them Puccini's
In celebration of its 125 years, the Met has polished the interior of the opera house, renovated its gift shop, and organized a series of special performances. The anniversary was also commemorated with a series of six Moleskine notebooks, used as company gifts and made available for purchase for Met Opera fans. Three pocket-sized books (a sketchbook, ruled notebook and music notebook) and three large books (a sketchbook, ruled notebook and memo pockets) were specially designed with the Met's signature curtain as inspiration. The curtain pattern is blind debossed on each cover, and the paperbands feature various photographs of it. An explanation of the object's history is silkscreened inside: "the Met's famed gold curtain, woven in pure silk by Scalamandré, echoes the design of the Met proscenium, and has over the years become one of the most recognizable design elements of the opera house."