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Subject: Re: the real final night at the old Met 1966
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:33:01 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (221 lines)


Even in your picture, and I enlarged it as much as possible, the posts or
whatever, are
conspicuously scarce and unobtrusive, except behind the front seats of the
parterre
boxes where they appear to be primarily decorative.  In a sold out house,
the ones
visible on the balcony and family circle would have been in very few
patrons' line of vision.
Compared to the actual obstruction that affects the extreme sides of all
"horseshoes,"
they are not worth mentioning.

dtmk

On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 11:13 AM, Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Listers,
>
> I don’t know why this controversy even started in the first place, as
> there are *numerous*
> photos of the Old Met available on the Web.
>
> This large color photograph clearly shows the pillars (or columns, posts,
> supports, uprights,
> balusters, piers, piles, pilasters) that “graced” the Old Met and
> interfered with a substantial
> number of viewers’ sightlines :
>
> http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/dc07297029641e44_large
>
> From what the photograph shows, the problem mainly affected the side and
> rear orchestra
> seats and the third and fourth balconies (I don’t know what they were
> called).  Also, people
> seated in the side boxes (other than those seated in the first row of
> same) would have had
> a very obstructed view of the stage, a problem common to most traditional
> horse-shoe
> shaped houses, such as the Palais Garnier in Paris.
>
> It’s a shame that many of the decorative features of the Old Met, such as
> frescoes,
> paintings, gilded woodwork, etc, were not dismantled, preserved, and
> re-used in other
> theaters.
>
> A very interesting website details the history of the Old Met and the
> efforts of the
> Metropolitan Opera Association to thwart (successfully, as we know) any
> initiative aimed at
> preserving the old house, for fear of competition.  The website is well
> documented and has
> many footnotes supporting all of its assertions.
>
> http://www.nypap.org/preservation-history/old-metropolitan-opera-house/
>
> Cheers and all the best,
>
> Alain
>
> Alain Letort
> Washington, D.C.
> Des Ungeheuers Höhle
>
>
>
>
>
> ====================================================
> On Mon, 11 Jun 2018 13:50:57 -0400, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >Donald
> >
> >I do think that this has become a tempest in even less than a
> >teapot, but, there certainly were pillars (or posts if you want)
> >at least at the Dress Circle and Balcony levels. I was cautioned
> >about them more than once at the box office.  i sat behind them
> >a couple of times and they were no great impediment. The thing
> >is, they had a very small circumference, but they were there!
> >
> >Bob
> >
> >On Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 13:34 donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> I have never mentioned backstage facilities, but I will say that
> >> whatever their shortcomings, they didn't interfere with more than
> >> half a century's worth of magnificent performances.  Nor did
> >> complaints begin to proliferate until it was decided that they
> >> might be a good way to help in instigating a move.
> >>
> >> No matter where I sat in the old place, I was never behind a post;
> >> it just doesn't work that way, and I have numerous clear 8x10 photos
> >> to prove it.  The trouble with seats on the side of any theater, new or
> >> old, is that views of the stage are obstructed, partially or seriously,
> >> depending on how high up you go.    That is why, after the remedy
> >> Richard Wagner demonstrated at Bayreith, no horseshoe theater
> >> should ever have been built again.
> >>
> >> dtmk
> >>
> >> On Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 12:56 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Donald Kane wrote:
> >> >
> >> > "I defy you to produce a single photo showing "pillars" on every
> level.
> >> Do
> >> > you even know
> >> > what a pillar is?"
> >> >
> >> > Yes, in fact, I do, have for some time.  From one dictionary: "A tall
> >> > vertical structure of
> >> > stone, wood, or metal, used as a support for a building, or as an
> >> ornament
> >> > or monument.
> >> > Synonyms: column, post, support, upright, baluster, pier, pile,
> pilaster,
> >> > stanchion, prop,
> >> > newel."  I presume you are quibbling about my calling them "pillars"
> >> > rather than "posts" or
> >> > "columns."  Now, if I had called them "caryatids," you might be able
> to
> >> > object, as none of
> >> > the supports had ladies draped in togas.  But "pillar" is a perfectly
> >> > acceptable descriptive
> >> > word for the uprights that supported the balconies of the Old Met.
> >> >
> >> > As to your first point: the pillars/columns/posts/caryatids - call
> them
> >> > what you want, it's all
> >> > the same thing (well, ok, not Caryatids, no women in togas) - can be
> seen
> >> > in numerous
> >> > photos of the Old Met on Google Images.  There is also a clear view of
> >> the
> >> > house with the
> >> > pillars on the Wikipedia page for "Old Met."  That they were there and
> >> > partially obstructed
> >> > the view from many seats was attested to in the recent documentary
> "The
> >> > Opera House," by
> >> > none other than former House Manager Alfred Hubay, who should know.
> >> >
> >> > I really don't know why are you are even quibbling about this.
> Perhaps
> >> to
> >> > avoid dealing
> >> > with the physical impracticability, if not impossibility, of bringing
> the
> >> > backstage facilities of
> >> > the Old Met up to an acceptable modern standard.
> >> >
> >> > MDW
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
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