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Subject: Re: the real final night at the old Met 1966
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 8 Jun 2018 23:07:51 -0700
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Donald (Kane) has brought up something that I have always believed in.
First of all, the reason for the New Met being bigger then the Old Met was
that in those days, there were waiting lists for subscriptions.  They truly
believed they needed the extra capacity and for decades, it worked.  Its
only in the past decade maybe, decade in a half that they have had trouble
filling the house.  This being said, they could do away with the Family
Circle and have the Balcony being the last ring.  It would move the rear
wall of the theatre about 75 feet closer to the proscenium.  I don't know
how it would affect acoustics but I'd venture not much.  This would
probably bring capacity down at least 500 seats. to approximately the size
of San Francisco (The Lyric of Chicago is a huge theater seating almost
3600 and in volume is probably as big as the New Met - its more of a
modified almost fan/shoe box shape.

The other option, one I have always felt would work is taking the little
used Damrosch Park and Band Shell and building a smaller auditorium
attached to the Met.  A theater of 1500 or so seats which would be perfect
for Baroque, Classical and early Romantic Opera and also a fine concert
venue.  I would imagine everything from Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart to
Rossini, Bellini and some Donizetti.  Operetta - Lehar and J. Strauss
certainly makes much more sense in that type of theatre.  Norma, the
Donizetti Queens, the bigger Bel Canto works would be reserved for the
bigger house along with Verdi, Wagner, R. Strauss and the like.  Much
"modern opera" would also work much better in the smaller theatre.  I
believe with such a venue, the Met would be in greater financial health
then they currently are.  They could be more adventurous and not worry
about having to constantly sell 3800 seats.  So, reduce the size of the
current theatre by eliminating the Family Circle and build a smaller
theatre for more intimate productions and concerts.

Donald (L'Autre)

On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 5:30 PM, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> You must have been reading fiction.  There were no "supporting pillars",
> the
> basic structure of the building was a five story horseshoe of three foot
> thick
> solid masonry.  I was able to observe the demolition day by day for the
> very
> long months it took; it was no tumble down shack..  All roofs, that many
> years
> ago, would have been necessarily constructed of light weight material,
> meaning
> wood, which would have to be replaced, but to admit that now, does not
> justify,
> in retrospect, any such visions of calamity as I have seen today.
>
> I agree with the Donald (Levine), who has posted a level-headed and
> informed
> assessment of how the situation might have or could have been resolved.  It
> is
> not necessarily the case that the Old Met had to go in order for the new
> one
> to thrive.  In my opinion, it was a mistake to try to make the new opera
> house
> bigger and grander than the old, instead, something more modern, less
> expensive,
> and adaptable to smaller, as well as to innovative productions should have
> been
> considered, with the older venue reserved for traditional staging.  New
> York is a
> much bigger city than so many in Europe that have always found room for
> more
> a single opera house.
>
> dtmk.
>
>
> On Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 4:41 PM, R Stuart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > I read somewhere that when they razed the old house, it was discovered
> > that
> > many large supporting pillars that should have been solid were instead
> > loosely filled with rubble. The place was in a state such that it could
> > have
> > collapsed at any time , and was more likely to do so when the house was
> > full.
> > I don't know if, even now, it would be possible to repair that kind of
> > structural
> > defect.
> >
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