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Subject: Re: the real final night at the old Met 1966
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Sun, 10 Jun 2018 21:54:53 -0400

text/plain (41 lines)

Donald Levine wrote:

"Yes, there were probably major structural problems due to lack of maintenance and 
construction of facilities in roof top areas that were never intended to support their weight, 
but all of this could have been addressed." 

Oh, really?  And how paid for, given that the company was underwater in dealing with the 
costs of the new house?  It's easy to offer armchair solutions decades after the fact when 
you don't have to deal with the practical details.  We've even had one person offer an expert 
engineering assessment of the structural condition of the Old Met, based on what he 
witnessed "every day" during the demolition!  (How long did he watch every day, one 
wonders?)  Another insightful commentator claimed that there were no pillars blocking the 
view from seats - in spite of the many photos showing those pillars on every level below the 
balcony!  (Don't believe your lyin' eyes.)   

I can't believe we are having yet ANOTHER go at this topic.  All the back and forth fails to 
address the only issue that really matters and was the principal impetus for building a new 
house: the appalling and antiquated conditions backstage.  These were impossible to 
address, because there was no room around the building to expand the back-stage areas.  
Nor was there space in the building for building adequate storage or rehearsal rooms or 
public areas.  I have never heard anyone comment on the bathroom situation at the Old 
Met, but given what I have seen and experienced in older venues like Carnegie Hall, and 
Symphony Hall and Lyric Opera in Chicago, I can imagine that they were dreadful.    

These discussions about saving the Old Met invariably represent a triumph of nostalgia over 
common sense and reality.


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