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Subject: Re: The Old Metropolitan Opera House
From: Premiere Opera <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Premiere Opera <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:22:27 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (205 lines)


And even the Family Circle wasn't completly segregated. In the final 2 or 3
years some of us went exploring during an intermission, and there, in the
very dusty darkness, was a formerly ornate stairway which began and ended
at the Family Circle. They seemingly didn't want people to use it, but I
had the impression that it was used in the early years. It was in tact, in
decent shap, but dark due to only a single light bulb for the entire
stairway. But once we found it, we went there often to explore the rest of
the house!


Best,
Ed

On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:14 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Not quite! It was only the Family Circle that was cut off from the
> rest of the theater with a segregated elevator and staircase.
>
> Having said that, I'm mostly with Ed on this issue. It was creaky, with
> lots of awful sight lines, but it had an aura of grandeur about it that
> the New Met never matched. To stand in front of the orchestra pit
> and look back at the Golden Horseshoe was a breathtaking visual
> experience, that evoked Caruso, Ponselle and the other greats who
> preceded my time. I loved it then, and I cherish its memory now.
>
> AND
>
> It was ideally located within one block of every subway line, the Port
> Authority a short walk Penn Station and the Long Island Railroad.
> Oh yeah, and the Path to New Jersey. That is no small thing!
>
> I do agree with Dan that its time had come, and excavations uncovered
> serious problems that could have caused a catastrophic accident, but
> its aura was a thrill and a half for the seven years I camped out there,
> mostly in the segregated Family Circle, and like 3500 others, I was
> very sad to say goodbye the night the final curtain fell.
>
> Like Ed, it was a special time in my life!
>
> Bob
>
> On Monday, October 24, 2016, robert levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > .....Not t mention the class system that did not permit balcony(and
> above)
> > humanoids to enter the house by the front doors....
> > First seats for me were in 1965 (Walkure with Nilsson, Vickers, Rysanek
> and
> > London - talk about spoining an opera forever) infamily circle side,
> where
> > I had to hang over the edge to see the front (only) or other side of the
> > stage.
> > Sorry to add to Daniel's lack of sentimentalty but even seeing/hearing
> > great Turanot with Nilsson and Corelli, Otello and Chenier with
> > (disappointing but still major league) Milanov and others, I'll take
> Upper
> > Manhattan!
> > Bob L
> >
> > On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 10:18 AM, Daniel Tritter <[log in to unmask]
> > <javascript:;>>
> > 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]
> > <javascript:;>> 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.
> > > >
> > > > http://untappedcities.com/tag/metropolitan-opera-house/
> > > >
> > >
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