The Metropolitan Opera House (the Met), designed by Wallace K. Harrison and 54 completed in 1966. can hold 3.800 people. It is the most beautiful building in the complex, with its airy front of glass highlighted by marble pillars, reminiscent of American colonial style. Two Chagall frescoes adorn the central lobby and can be seen from the outside.
Facing the New York State Theater is Avery Fisher Hall, completed in 1962. more commonly known as Philharmonic Hall. The auditorium, which seats 2,836. now has excellent acoustics. The New York Philharmonic and distinguished visiting orchestras and soloists play here.
Just behind the hall, level with the Met. you can see the outline of the Vivian Beaumont Theater, designed by the great architect Eero Saarinen who died before its completion in 1965. The Beaumont is the new home of the New York Shakespeare Festival. In addition to the delightful circular theatre, there is the second, much smaller Mitzi Newhouse Theater. The building was originally intended to provide a base for a permanent American repertory company, along the lines of the Comedie Fran§aise in Parif, but the company never materialized a public library housing thousands of records and books about the arts.