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Subject: Re: Merrill
From: Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Dec 2016 16:21:33 -0500
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The timeline here is a bit off.  Merrill was in Bing's good graces for the
DON CARLO opening - which was long before the film.  He sang Bing's 1st
season up until he announced that due to contractual obligations, he
couldn't do the Spring Tour in 1951 - that's when Bing decided to make an
example of him, and what cost Merrill almost a year and a half of his prime
career.

It's ironic that Bing later allowed Tebaldi to steamroll over him at almost
every turn, but her health often wasn't the best, and her mother's death and
several years later, her own vocal problems didn't help as Bing struggled to
hold her to her scheduled performances.  But of course, she was a guaranteed
sold out house every time she appeared, and he needed her far more than he
needed Merrill.

I don't believe Bing fired Traubel, though the poster is quite correct that
he found her Las Vegas and television appearances distasteful.  She sang the
Ring and Rosenkavalier during his first season - it wasn't a holdover
contract from Johnson.  I think she just probably didn't want to continue
and saw the writing on the wall as to his lack of enthusiasm for Wagner. 
She was 52-ish at the time and it was a well timed exit, I think.

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