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The following program was produced for national educational radio under a grant from the National Home Library Foundation by W. B U R Boston. Boston University radio presents Hall of song the story of the Metropolitan Opera from 1893 to 1966. Her was the war in the world. Your posts are miles past indie music critic of The New York World. Journal Tribune. And noton cross.
The Metropolitan season of 1925 marked the beginning of gothic his arts his final decade as general manager. Now after 17 years the impresario had his large company of versatile and talented artists firmly under control at times in fact it seemed as if operatic productions went on automatically powered by some concealed in a spring. A good example of the efficiency of the company's operation came on the opening night of the season late in the afternoon. The singer who was scheduled to sing louder in the evening's performance of La Gioconda suddenly became ill. If this had happened 20 years earlier it would have caused a near panic and perhaps a different opera would have had to be substituted in 1925 However the incident was hardly noticed. Got it just telephoned to Margate to Mott's an hour and the performance went on as scheduled knots an hour hadn't sung the part for a few years. But she brushed up on the
score while she was getting into her costume. Unfortunately the Metropolitan stability during this period did not go without some criticism. The English critic Ernest Newman was in New York for a year serving as guest reviewer for The Evening Post with a human material and financial resources he said the Metropolitan could be much better than it is. In the New York Herald WJ Henderson decided that the method become content doing all things in the old way. Finally though he had to confess the experience of years has taught that the Metropolitan is not deeply touched by newspaper criticism. The public which patronize the institution regard its offering is of supreme excellence. The commentator who decries any of them is likely to find that he is one decrying in the wilderness the opera as a place of resort for the person in search of relaxation. It is no place for antiquarians historians philosophers and psychoanalysts
experts. Nevertheless no amount of criticism was about to change the status quo for the simple reason that the public liked what it was getting and the whole operation was enormously profitable. As a matter of fact they made departments financial position was so secure that the management politely refused an offer of aid from the newly formed Julliard Foundation got because it's a fear that the conditions of the foundation's assistance might in some way interfere with the Metropolitan's normal program. This normal programme consisted of a 24 week season and a repertoire forty four operas. It also included a profit of almost fifty four thousand dollars. There was no reason for Gotti to have any doubts about the continuation of the Metropolitans success. And so he raised ticket prices for the 1925 season orchestra seats went up to seven and a half dollars and places for the dress circle
rose to 495. This was also to be the season for a number of extravagantly publicized debuted this would have been anything out of the ordinary except that in these cases the acclaim came in advance of the performance itself. The most notable spectacle was the debut of the 18 year old soprano Marian Tully the evening of February 12th found the Metropolitan family swarming with an immense clack imported from Talley's home state of Missouri. All the more performances you know there was barely adequate. The public was caught up in the PR and tally became a star. She proved to be something of a shooting star however and vanished from the Metropolitan three seasons later. They're much more durable career was launched at that same day's matinee performance of tantalizing but the debut of Lawrence Welk E.R. was all but completely lost in the clamor for tally. In fact there was such confusion at the Metropolitan that afternoon that the new held in town I was nearly barred from entering the house. Let's hear about this
now. Has Mr. Melky or recalled some of the outstanding events in these early years at the Met in a conversation with our producer Richard Calhoun. I had not the slightest idea about who he was then but I remember there when I came to the Metropolitan Opera that afternoon to say there were people around our prime. There were policemen on horses and so on and when I try to get over to law brother police want to know all we were going to get through here I'm called to say you know what I didn't talk to a very good English and so I don't know where. You know don't go here do you. Then I have to write on a piece of paper or my name and look on the post although you will see my name and you just pushing part. So he went off and then you come back to the world all may be
all right you'll just go or so then I cover it and then I I thought it was wonderful and so many people were going to listen to him when you say there's something in you experience. So when I dressed and then I came down on the stage and looked through the little room the cook and you can go to the engine practically nobody in the theater so I couldn't understand why it so I then I off. Oh shit oh not here over there here for tonight. That ended told me up on then. Then of course the All-Pro went on but during the whole opera of the well you know hammering back just because they were putting in wires took a city direct from the stage and it was no turn noise a big joke. How it worked and how more than how and the
so that was my first experience at them it of course I had never sang. Version of all that you know of the Opera in Germany reciting the old dirty addressed here and didn't know here was if I had never seen this or wish and sharing with us always were good to see you with me. I had piano rehearsals op in the ladies pollo up in front and would always talk to children for the principal because they didn't want to go to the hospital and so on so I never seen any of them before I came on the stage. They never had a orchestra are not at all no no no no. So it's not they had a rehearsal for the ballet
in the first act but when the evening came there was a cook. SHOT OF could be transparent couldn't between this stage of the conductor to make it still more like like the Venusberg door but I couldn't see the conductor through it and then with that that was not too good. But anyhow nobody I don't want to bark and it wouldn't have to pay him watch any you know we've the head of the money back. Sounds like quite a hectic day of your radio though. Well you proved what I and the remainder of that season you went on and saying Zygmunt which was I believe what you wanted to make your debut when you want to have in common a garden and I know why I did. And of course I know sharing it with many many different but
the one I liked and love most and we are still a very great friend to Liam when she is a wonderful woman use language. That she is one of the greatest doctors diet work the U.S. She has so much heart and so much reading. And good times for you again whom you know really when you are on the stage you really lived or didn't feel that you love. Well in the following season you went back to where you were in my mind. I didn't sing much Adichie when I was on the road stop but I've filled my so that you sort of see the great parts without any experience in them. I had never been turned off in an hour samba. I was taken to the Metropolitan from.
By Roy because I was a very great need of a return on Manila time. So I came over here and and only I had to sing for the first time and practical Nora us and there we had Priyanka religion but no subject called what you need orchestra rehearsing to Metropolitan. No ok you'll be called to tell us where you know one in four of them do you have no time for a show that I said to myself it's better that you're going to get gay too and you know you're of the best opera you can get and then you don't know your change when you come back again. So I win and showing you know how I'm going to go showing in bowling and I showing a lot of showing performances really months in both you know eight performances do every month you know in
16 times a months and I had the highest salary there ever have paid anybody and I never get it three years I worked for and it didn't work at the minute. And when the Michie's or visual way went over there again I. I never missed one performance and I say about 10 next of all forms. Never in all those years in mid 0 in them which I have only to want to know of five hundred and fifteen performances I have sung 500 and 200 in the years I've been there. Good record good record here. When I won when you came back then to the met you I guess it was around 1930 then that you really wanted your leaders down it was just an exclusion again. No but it was by about 1930 that you were really established as the Yo-Yo held in town and at that time you were singing with but I'm
doing a lot of Oh yeah well you know of course you're going to stand in the beginning I had a lot of fight with but I'm sure because he was absolutely right I I did get a lot of mistakes in my parts and so on. The audience didn't hear it so much but one doctor has a squad he knows so I don't myself but we had some fights in that time. But then later on we when I did all my teeth and so on we got very intimate and great friends and then there was an arcing I had told on my part I have to add on please Scott with with what Anthy and for shore and so on. He talked on the stuff the reader and all these you know I was a very hard
working in Germany to play good scribes and also not to see the Wagner part a little. Well then in 1932 Frida Leider another of your colleagues mojito for you know went from you know OK well one here and I shake my opinion arse of being created together with a lot of the shoulders. But I shake the dish never have been a nice holiday like food or light or even talking about that. They're only saying what a drawback for for you that I know was that he was not so good looking a woman as some of the flock that was but if you listen to records on her singing you would I think you would agree with me that more beautiful boys look at Delphi and judge your was a modest actor and of course we all lost
a lot of the Davidic great friends we were just to the Salmo in Germany and she is a magnificent just us daughter. It gets. There's. No mo. Yes.
They are feeling that he was a are and yes. Oh and yes Bell Yes. To him that it was the
way. Oh am. I am you. I am a you you are an. AA.
Yes. Yes yes. Yeah I. AM was. Well funny thing then happened in 1934 you sang your
100 sig fried in you know and then at the end of that season as Ives announced his retirement and for the gala. Yeah actually I had wondered as I in Germany shown a lot of Italian opera too right. Myopia is pro feet and collar on and low on Sharpton and good iron and so on I wanted to sing so my Italia an opera were here. But God got you should know I have it and generous enough and I have know her all you can know so I can Did you see that because I have so much of with my Italian turners if you also sing that so good but I will promise you that before I leave them with a potent Abra
you're going to sing Italian opera. So when you hazard goodbye performs with a deuce of a great Barry and I we sang the last act of Joe and and he said well not only can do me any harm. So here you are you say no. So I did said Bills will. Did you want very much to do with an opera as well and I gave some of these opera I like was a very good run a mission. I know because there was a good old turtle too. Then in 1935 another great talent was added to the Wagnerian wing when Marjorie Lawrence made her debut. Oh yes she was. You see I was chatting with her in the Paris Opera before. But then she was a contractor and I sorry long range here there she sang Ortrud and
she had she was a great talent on the stage. I sort I'd like oh contre out-of-door very very much. I sold it was a mistake for her to go into the dramatic opera. She did a magnificent work but I see also that she she oh well worked it was she forced towards something sometimes but it was a pleasure to work with. And we had also gone to a cyclist to grow up. And I was the one who sang. In the opera with when she got lame We all know in your body and couldn't move. Then I had to sing Tannoys with that was easy because she was reading on the culture's wino's old time and
not to move around. You did all the rest on what you quoted was Tristan because yeah I had to do all the acting and all the same because you couldn't move at all. So that was it was heavy and it was very tiresome. But she did beautiful work and I felt very sorry for her and she was such an nice sportswoman and all she loved horses and riding and overeating. She used to ride the horse all you got to do you from Australia. But no I haven't heard from a long time. I changes Mary TalkTalk on something. Top Dog mostly told through time but she was one of the great talents there was also a great traumatic car and
dragged us to Devonshire who now sees really much enjoyment and she was all jaw Southwick Goodchild if I may say no. Well then in 1939 but Anstey died and most of his repertoire was taken when I finished online store and he was all he was a very clever young man because he was restrained. But although there was a sort of on first story that through I thought and I had some trouble with him and so on. It is you know it is just so many of those things just to lie there wishing we had was that we of course had to adjust to hearing to last who under there at the rehearsal as we have worked with putdowns skewed so much along so with arrows will we have took some time to stop and say whether
we like good to do it so once on his own then the people who took drag out as we were having fights with him but if it's not true at all. Here's a very talented and has shown it all during his life but he's a very talented conductor but as always nice to make the sing song about is that good conversation and party with another of your colleagues came along well and trouble and you sang with no head and ears. Have a wonderful time with her and when we were too good she was here a charming nice woman. I cannot quite understand their way she can talk to talk. She rode off singing and later on I don't sing that initiated wrong in going into
nightclubs change when you keep your dignity but song and limitations I sing Anyhow I have never in my career in that way I have never let down. I was showing off from the Metropolitan Opera but I don't think that I've drawn magic soprano should sing CARNEY Oh sorry I'm from out your the Toreador song from Carmen on on the solo singer stick that is something I could never do and K'naan just could not understand that she did but we came very much together. And funny and off. Then she wrote a book about it. And also mention all OT appalled and ghost I was like really learned of its just good reading British not true. So and
since I think that she must be relieved ashamed of that because she has never never had opportunity toa. She seemed to working together and I can't understand why. But let's talk to our I don't blame her for writing you lose something when you can pull it up by it but anyhow on the stage and I can tell you with it on the stage I have never done anything too hard on all arches. Walk on not supported every way I could and that I have from my oh me days and I say that only by good teamwork on the stage you can make good work to go in for the audience that was loud it's milky
who made his metropolitan debut during the nine hundred twenty five season and reigned there for 23 seasons as the company's leading heldentenor. On next week's program we'll hear more stories about Mr. Miller's career as he continues his conversation with producer Richard Calhoun. For now this is Milton Cross on behalf of miles cast in the well being that you'll be able to join us then. Boston University Radio has presented Hall of song the story of the Metropolitan Opera from 1883 to 966 the
series is created and produced by Richard Calhoun a grant from the National Home Library Foundation has made possible the production of these programs for national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
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Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966
1925 Through 1926
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
1925 -1926. Lauritz Melchior, Heldentenor, is interviewed. First of two parts.
Series Description
Documentary series on history of the Metropolitan Opera Company ("The Met") in its original home at Broadway and 39th Street in New York. "The Met" closed its old location on April 16, 1966. Series includes interviews and rare recordings of noted performers.
Broadcast Date
Performing Arts
Media type
Host: Cross, Milton, 1897-1975
Host: Kastendieck, Miles
Interviewee: Melchior, Lauritz
Producer: Calhoun, Richard
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-41-18 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:00
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Chicago: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1925 Through 1926,” 1967-01-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1925 Through 1926.” 1967-01-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1925 Through 1926. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from