The following script is from "The Greatest Show on Earth" which aired on Oct. 27, 2013. The correspondent is Bob Simon. Ruth Streeter, producer.
The phrase "the greatest show on Earth" usually refers to the circus but a man named Peter Gelb, who runs the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, is doing everything he can to change that. He is, making it accessible to more people -- even those who always thought they would hate it. Gelb wants opera to become as popular and populist as it was a hundred years ago. He believes people would come out in droves for opera if they just had a chance to see it.
There's no other place where you can see such monumental staging, elaborate sets and a cast of hundreds.
And raw emotion, beautiful women -- defiant and doomed -- and special effects that you might expect to find in a Hollywood movie.
But it's not just about the magic. The Met is above all about-- some of the very best voices in the world. Beginning with rehearsals, we followed a new production, a reimagining of .
Polish tenor Piotr Beczala belts out one of Verdi's greatest hits.
Bob Simon: What's the difference between singing at the Met and singing in the smaller European houses?
Piotr Beczala: It's the most important opera house in the world.
Bob Simon: Do you get more nervous before Met performance than at other performances?
Piotr Beczala: Maybe a little. Maybe a little because I know how important it is here.
Serbian baritone Zeljko Lucic sings the role of Rigoletto.
Zeljko Lucic: This is the-- kind of crown of our business, coming to New York and Metropolitan. Because I know what kind of people, what singers sang here and stood at the same place where I am.
Bob Simon: In fact, when you sing the first time at the Met, is it a very big deal?
Zeljko Lucic: Yes because that's your chance to prove yourself. And if you are, you know, if you-- how-- how can I say, blew it out?
Bob Simon: If you blow it?
Zeljko Lucic: If you blow it, you're done. That's it.
Unlike divas of the past German soprano Diana Damrau is a working mom, nursing a two-month-old baby and a cold. She has a lot to contend with.
Bob Simon: You were quite sick last week?
Diana Damrau: Yes. I'm still a bit. But I tried not to sing all the time, and reduce a little bit.
Bob Simon: Just a little bit, I mean-- you were belting it out.
Diana Damrau: Oh, no, only at the end.