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Subject: Re: The Old Metropolitan Opera House
From: Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:32:46 -0400
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Such priceless memories that people are sharing on this thread! Thank you 
all.

Ken

-----Original Message----- 
From: Michael Kaye
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: The Old Metropolitan Opera House

All of these memories of the old MET are really wonderful. I too long for
the taste of a bowl of chicken noodle soup at the Governor Cafeteria across
the street...lost to the ages.

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:10 PM, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I loved the old house.  There was something about the sound coming from 
> the
> orchestra pit that always thrilled me. The sound seemed to take a while to
> get up to the Family Circle because it looked like the orchestra came in 
> on
> the upbeat after the downbeat.  I went every Saturday from 1953 until I
> graduated from high school and for many years after that.  My first opera
> was a student matinée of La Boheme with Lucine Amara as the Mimi and Brian
> Sullivan as Rodolfo.  The house itself was always a magic place to me.  I
> loved to study scores up in the family circle on those student desks.  I
> saw two operas every Saturday standing for $.50 at the afternoon
> performance and with my seat up in the Family Circle in the evening, using
> the binoculars in the box in front of me feeling like was looking through
> the chandelier to see the stage, not really but looking back it might have
> been.  I remember standing with a friend to a Parisfal with Varnay and
> Kullman, Mitroupoulos conducting and later a Boris Godunov in English with
> Jerome Hines.  Everything about that Parsifal was magic to me at the time;
> I could not imagine they actually rehearsed it; I figured that the singers
> and orchestra just showed up and did their thing.  I will never forget
> Hines falling backwards off his throne as Boris.  I wonder still how he 
> did
> not hurt himself.  We used to see the afternoon performance and then to go
> the street vendor selling knishes for a bite before the evening
> performance.  I have never had a knish that tasted that good afterwards.
> Memories always seem to make things better than they actually were.  I
> cried when they tore the house down but thrilled at opening season in the
> new house and for many performances after that, even booed at a couple.  I
> wouldn't trade a single night at both houses for anything.  After I moved
> to New Mexico to play with the symphony and simultaneously built an Angus
> cattle ranch, I listened and recorded many performances out there which I
> have subsequently put on my computer.  I still have the mirror in the 
> shape
> of the old proscenium with the little piece of the old gold curtain in it.
> dond
>
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 10:47 AM, Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 11:19 AM, Laurence Hoffman <
> [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> >
> > > The building exterior was undistinguished and homely; and although 
> > > well
> > > located, was in an undistinguished area. The front entrance lobby was
> > just
> > > plain
> > > ugly, looking liked an old, outdated train station (on a good day). 
> > > The
> > > lobbies on
> > > 39th and 40th were just as dingy.
> > >
> >
> > Of course, it is worth noting that the plans to move uptown took years 
> > to
> > bring to fruition, and during that time they would have spent only the
> bare
> > minimum to maintain the old house.
> >
> > --
> > Marc Shepherd
> > New York, NY
> >
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