When the New York Metropolitan Opera opened on September 13th, 1966, the first applause went to the twelve chandeliers that rose towards the ceiling with the first curtain. On the opening night audience and journalists were startlingly impressed by Starburst Chandeliers from Vienna, a gift to the United States of America by the Republic of Austria out of gratitude for the ERP-program after World War II.
The design comes from the pencil of Hans Harald Rath, company owner of those days, who worked in close collaboration with the architect. The fixture was also a bow towards the present space age resembling distant galaxies. The foyer chandeliers visible from greater distance soon developed to become the landmark of the Met. This is the greatest praise for us.