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 European Recovery 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 Edward K. Harrison. The fixtures also were the first application of Crystals from Swarovski® in a large-scale project. Hans Harald Rath was the first ever to try Swarovski crystals for chandeliers 10 years earlier.
Their signature elements are the cone-shaped tufts of spikes and beads.