The Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House on Broad and Poplar streets closed its doors to the public more than 20 years ago, but opened them one last time for “Jazz at the Met” on Saturday before renovations begin in December.
Jazz Lives Philadelphia, a nonprofit aiming to increase the number of jazz performances in the city, hosted the show, with only three weeks to prepare.
“I’m really proud of everybody that was involved with this event to make it happen because it was so much work in such a short amount of time,” said Sarah Leonard, the nonprofit’s executive and co-artistic director and a senior finance major. Leonard and the five other members of the organization were Temple students when they started the group. She added that the permit for the building was only approved the morning of the show because everything came together at such short notice.
VIPs were given a tour of the ground level of the building before the show. Angela Hankins-Simpson came to see her son, Fareed Hankins-Simpson, perform in the Jazz Lives Philadelphia Big Band, which accompanied vocalist Laura Lizcano and saxophonist Ted Nash. Hankins-Simpson was the last one seen clapping in the crowd at the end of the performance. “They were off the hook,” Angela said.