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Metropolitan Opera House, New York City c1905. National Library of Congress

The Met opened its doors on 22 October 1883.

Compositeur fantastique: Hector Berlioz, by Pierre Petit, c.1860.

The power and perils of reconstructing the music of Napoleon's time.

Play on: red-figure amphora with musical scene, attributed to the Niobid Painter, c.460-50 BC.

Though originally set to music, we almost always encounter the Ancient Greek epics as mute texts. But now their songs can be heard again.

If the shoe fits: Cinderella and the Glass Slipper, illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1919.

Historians set great store by what people heard in the past, but what about those things they misheard? 

The inventor of the saxotromba, saxhorn, saxtuba and saxophone was born on 6 November 1814.

Eve Turner as Santuzza and Booth Hitchen as Alfio in a Carl Rosa company production of Pietro Mascagni's verismo opera, Cavalleria rusticana, early 1920s. © Lebrecht Music & Arts Pictures.

Despite popular misconceptions and its aristocratic origins, for part of its history opera was inextricably linked with popular culture – no more so than in the 1920s. 

'You're the Top': Cole Porter arriving in Paris, September 27th, 1951

The songwriter was born on June 9th, 1891.

'Papa' Haydn portrayed by Thomas Hardy, 1792.

The 'father of the symphony' came to London on January 1st, 1791.

Gesamtkunstwerk: playbill for Tristan und Isolde at the National Theatre, Munich.

Wagner's opera was first performed in Munich on June 10th, 1865.

The Chieftones

Understanding aboriginal history through rare and largely unheard music.