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Subject: Re: the real final night at the old Met 1966
From: Michael McPherson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael McPherson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 8 Jun 2018 16:50:20 -0400
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David,

I hope I won’t be repeating too much of what has been written in response to your posting. My opera experience began at the old house and I absolutely loved it. Most of the time I was in the Standing room in the Orchestra; for the last night I could only get Family Circle standing room —and occasionally I would sit in the orchestra for the last act when some patrons left early but gave the standees their stubs (and even at times after the first act). I thought the acoustics were terrific — although I was told a section of the orchestra on the right side facing the stage had a dead spot. At the time, I was absolutely against tearing this “yellow brick brewery” down but I have been told by so many people who knew better than me, that the building was in terrible shape — just seeing the sets leaning against the back of the building on 7th avenue in the rain was just one example. While I never took a shine to the new Met, surely the great productions — especially in the first season could never had been done at the old Met.

Several people have mentioned the tearing down of the old Penn Station and I absolutely agree that it was a shanda. One story — the beautiful lamp posts that was outside the station were saved by the Rt. Rev. Horace Donovan, Episcopal Bishop of New York, who had them brought up to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and put them outside the Cathedral on Amsterdam Avenue. They were magnificent. Unfortunately, age and NY weather damaged the bases so badly that they were finally removed.

Michael
 
Michael J. McPherson
[log in to unmask]




> On Jun 8, 2018, at 2:08 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> There was what I think must have been a repeat of an older documentary on
> the transition from the old to the new Met (Leontyne Price was completely
> disarming in her appreciation of how great a singer she was -- that's a real
> diva).  I thought the documentary was very sophisticated in its presentation
> of the kind of thinking that was typical in the NY of Robert Moses, and for
> that matter, Rudolph Bing.
> 
> My question is this.  There must be only a few people left on the List who
> remember the old house.  Do you feel there should have been steps taken to
> make it more practical rather than tearing it down?  It may be my
> imagination, but once the technology gets good enough I hear on the Sirius
> broadcasts a kind of very particular resonance from the the original house
> that the new house utterly  lacks.  It's different from, but almost as
> pronounced as Bayreuth, whose broadcasts you can identify just from the sound.
> 
> I realize that many seats had obstructed views, there was no place to store
> productions, etc., etc.  But should the old Met have been saved, and would
> our changed perceptions of historic architecture be able to do it today?
> 
> David Kubiak
> 
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