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Subject: Re: The Old Metropolitan Opera House
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:50:57 -0400

text/plain (120 lines)


"I will always remember my first performance at the Met.  It was in March of 1953 and Caruso was singing the title role in Lohengrin that night and Galli-Curci, nearing the end of her career, was singing the role of Elsa.  Marian Anderson was Ortrud and a very young Beverly Sills (singing under the name Belle Poitrine) was one of the Pages.  The second act of Die Fledermaus was interpolated as part of the wedding ceremony and Verdi's 'Hymn of the Nations' was given as an encore (twice!). Toscanini was in the pit and gave the most fiery performances of these works that I have ever heard.".  Alfred E. Newman, PhD.





>     On October 24, 2016 at 10:18 AM Daniel Tritter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>     sorry, ed. to me a disaster on all counts....sight, sound,
>     stage, lights, rehearsal space, bathrooms, sherry's
>     (only good if you knew the bartender or head waiter),
>     no disabled access (i wasn't disabled then). i still have
>     visions of the shabby sets sitting out in the rain on 7th
>     avenue, waiting for the walton's warehouse truck to
>     arrive. i was in every location between january 1947 (my
>     first in house performance) and april 1966) and the only
>     seats worth the money were in the dress circle...about $6
>     at the end of the '60's, as i recall. i remember being at a
>     "vanessa" rehearsal before the premiere. where? in the ladies
>     rest room on the grand tier level. what does that tell you
>     of that wonderful theater? most of the postings here are from
>     people who were never there, or who have read of the golden
>     age and other sentimental claptrap, but largely have no
>     experience of what a theater should have. the garbage pit on
>     39th street was obsolete on the day it opened. the law suit
>     was meritless on every count. the new theater, prayed for
>     all the way back to the otto kahn-gatti-casazza days, was
>     a multimilion dollar venture from the start, and part of that
>     number was to be the proceeds of the sale of the site of the old
>     one....i don't remember joe gimma (licia albanese's rich
>     financier husband) offering big bucks to help in any direction.
>     would any sane board of directors hand over its property to
>     an organization, semi-competitive, without a caveat against
>     how the property would be used. the met in those days got a
>     lot of income from visiting ballet companies who rented the
>     hall during the april-september period when they were on
>     tour or in pre-season rehearsal...would they want a purchaser
>     to be profiting from a new kid on their former block?
>     but from all the logistical and legal obstacles, let's just talk about the
>     ticket buyers to opera performances: the met had limited sight lines
>     for nearly half the seats (and standing room), and very odd sound
>     problems in many parts of the house (excluding, of course, the
>     distant center of the family circle, fondly recalled by ed, though
>     his neighbors in family circle standing room probably heard 33%
>     less of the performance than ed did).
>     and so, friends of the met,,,and others ...
>     please cease your tears for the legendary "yellow brick brewery," as
>     one critic dubbed it. and though this seems the season for conspiracy
>     theories, try not to identify villains and their accomplices. the demise
>     of that appalling edifice was long in the planning. as any reading of
>     the history of the met readily reveals, was economically desirable,
>     long delayed by the depression and world war II, but inevitable for a
>     management that needed no artistic debate as to the defects of presenting
>     opera at its highest quality in a decrepit piece of real estate that defied
>     any possibility of doing so.
>     q.e.d.
>     dft
>     On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 12:26 AM, Ed Rosen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>         > > 
> >         I came upon this a few minutes ago. The first picture is the place I spent
> >         most of my time at the Old Met. I had a subscription in the last row of the
> >         Family Circle ($1.65 per ticket) for the final 7 seasons! I can't say it
> >         seems like yesterday, but it doesn't seem 50 years ago either. Great and
> >         irreplaceable blessed memories.
> > 
> >
> > 
> >     > 
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