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Subject: AGE OF INNOCENCE: not the Met
From: David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 4 Sep 2017 17:12:46 +0000
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Donald Kane wrote:

"One favorite excerpt, even though I can't remember whether it was from
FAUST or  R & J, is the opera being performed about a hundred and
thirty years ago in the brand  new "old"  Met at the beginning of THE
AGE OF INNOCENCE..."
Actually not, though people do make this assumption, and for good reason. The novel begins:

"On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson wassinging in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York."Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitandistances "above the Forties," of a new Opera House which shouldcompete in costliness and splendour with those of the great Europeancapitals, the world of fashion was still content to reassemble everywinter in the shabby red and gold boxes of the sociable old Academy"
So, the 'new' Old Met was being talked about but was still a dozen years in the future. The Academy of Music to which the narrator refers was on Irving Place at 14th Street and had opened in 1854. Swedish diva Christine Nilsson, who *did* open the Met in FAUST in 1883, had by then already sung in NYC for some years, including at the Academy of Music.
The Philadelphia Academy is still a lovely place to hear music: Its OP season opens this coming weekend with the Barrie Kosky ZAUBERFLOETE on Friday and a Sondra Radvanovsky recital Sunday afternoon.
Best- David Shengold



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