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National Association of Broadcasters
First Live Opera Broadcast(December 25, 1931)
December 25, 1931

Moment 27: First Live Opera Broadcast

The NBC network made radio history on December 25, 1931 when it broadcast a matinee performance of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera “Hansel und Gretel” live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City to listeners across the country. The weekly series of full-length operas was created as the Met, financially endangered in the early years of the Great Depression, sought to enlarge its audience and support through national exposure on broadcast radio.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!

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