The Metropolitan Opera was not the first opera house in New York. There was a smaller, more exclusive one, the Academy of Music, but it catered exclusively to the old-money families and excluded the new rich, such as the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts, and the Morgans. There were two-short-lived opera houses before the Academy of Music too, the Italian Opera House and the Astor House. When the Metropolitan Opera House opened at 1411 Broadway in 1883, it quickly became the opera house, and the new rich were able to see and be seen. Here is the Met in a pre-1907 view:
So, while New York City was building itself an opera house in 1883, what was happening up in the Amazon rainforest? It turns out that they were finalizing plans to build an opera house there too. While they started construction at about the same time, the process in Manaus, Brazil was a lot slower. Building materials, including marble for the stairs, columns and statues, were imported from Europe. The first performance, Ponchielli's La Giaconde, took place in 1897. No expense was spared though, resulting in a lavish building with electric lights, all funded by riches from the rubber industry. My friend Karin visited the place and sent me this picture of the Teatro Amazones.
The pavement in the plaza in front of the Teatro is by Roberto Burle Marx, a famous landscape architect. It represents the ‘meeting of the waters’ where the black Rio Negro and the latte-colored Rio Solimoes meet, just outside of Manaus.
Here is a gallery of photos from the Teatro Amazones.
And here's the back of the first card.