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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. You are the will. You are. World. Louis. Your hosts are miles Kasten Deek music critic of New York who will. Do more for you when you. Know don't cross.
When the time came for the opening of the 1894 season the Mets roster was virtually a who's who of opera almost every great talent of the day had been engaged and those who won and there would appear within the remaining seasons of The Golden Age. The management had to do nothing those days except to bring the singers to New York and pay their salaries. The stars did all the rest. Their names got indeed full houses. They designed their own costumes and they decided what roles they would perform the public loved it. But some critics complain that the stars were stifling the addition of novelties to the repertoire because they only wanted to sing their well liked parts. One critic even suggested that the old style nights should be alternated with ones featuring lesser known or developing talents. Incredible as it seems they found that the Knights of the seven staus will becoming routine at one point the times chided that the glorification
of individual singers was ridiculous that they were becoming as popular as prize fighters. Even Gene direct two highly touted in one critic's opinion. Someday he will retire. Shall I be no more cakes and ale nonsense. There will still be men dissing follows and there will be people who never heard of Gene directs and who will think these men great. But Abby and growl weren't taking any chances. They had to read scary and would use him as long as the public wanted him. Later audiences might very well find they were tennis great. They would after all be people who had never heard or read the 1894 season saw the arrival of a tenor who had in a sense to compete with the Redskins for the audience's favor. This one succeeded very well or as well as could be expected. Francesco to man you made his debut in the Telo displaying trumpet like tones which were described by one of the snare as having the penetrating metallic quality of an eight inch shell. The Jago for that performance was a victim Mirelle who was also
making his debut. We can easily imagine the effect they created together from these recordings of a telos opening phrases as we'll talk. And then Morales insidious era noted. You. Were. Old. Home.
Was. It would be impossible to detail all the events of the years which followed
the baritone ranks were further augmented with the debut of just set becomes an r.e. More Wagner appeared in the repertory and gingerbread ski's glorious tryst gone with a powerful Isolde sung by Nautica highlighted the 1895 season and LML about had considerably less success with Wagner when she attempted the Siegfried Brunnhilde in the following year. After the curtain fell she ran to growl and close to tears said. Tell the critics I'm never going to sing that again it is beyond me. I've been a fool. Performance was otherwise something of a classic with a direct demonstrating for the versatility in the roles of Siegfried in the war on drugs. It was also in 1896 that follow suit was given 10 performances quite close together and inspired Henderson of The Times to suggest that the Metropolitan should thereafter be called Dust in the house. But that was just about the only humorous aspect of the season. GROSS partner Abbey died in October causing many to press for a reorganization of the management.
Then on February 10th the better tone autumn uncustomary dropped dead on stage during a performance of Martha. The tragedy became even more macabre when the audience applauded him loudly thinking it was all part of the show. Things went from bad to worse for the rest of the year with a string of mediocre performances by poorly prepared substitutes standing in for indisposed stars when it was all over. Growers lease was renewed for three more seasons but he decided to suspend activities at the Met for one year so he could reorganize his stars and have the company under better control. Well today a mirage was given use of the house for a five week season of German opera but for the rest of 1897 98 the house was dark. Grainger spent the interval as director of Covent Garden when he returned to New York for the 1898 season. He was better able than ever to command the best singers in the
world that it was now the freshly organized Maurice grow Opera Company which brought them all to the Metropolitan growlers regime lasted until the end of the one thousand two seasons and the standard never varied seeing is where all that counted in opera. There were constant complaints about the new work he introduced the poor quality of many productions the clumsy ballet and the uncertain. Nevertheless the roster for the first of his final seasons boasted every major artist of the day except Calvin and was highlighted by the return of Lehmann and Wagner continued to stage a comeback as the first uncut Ring Cycle was presented in the Rhinegold that open the cycle to outstanding Wagnerians made their debut and then to Van Roy we can reconstruct something of the performance they gave together that night from two excerpts from the last scene
and vote. I've been like their song. He was he. Was. Was. A. A A. A.
He. Gave. Me a. They are. Barely. Gave. A. Living. Room. To. Live in the area. What it.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Yes. That. Low.
Low. Low. Low Low. Low. Low. Let's.
See. Home. Eight. Later that same year Lynn Lehmann was heard in what she recalled as the
ideal Tristan performance of my life. She sang it that day with the red ski Brame and Dan Roy the critics seemed to have been in agreement for Henderson wrote. Not a sound could be heard in the auditorium save the music. After such a performance criticism is weak for want of superlatives at the end of the season the incomparable a man retired 1899 was notable chiefly for an ambitious production of The Magic Flute which received its metropolitan premiere and boasts the largest all star cast ever on December 27. The new Don Giovanni arrived at the house in the person of Antonio Scotty an artist in the highest sense of the word according to The Times. His interpretation of the champagne Aria was especially well sung on that and many other occasions during his 33 year career. You're on a god ski brought her talent to the Metropolitan repertory on January
6 with her debut as center in the Flying Dutchman and quickly established herself as a very fine Wagnerian authors. Here she sings the great aria her debut role centre's balance. Yeah. There.
Sure. Are. Yes. Another outstanding Basso was added to the ranks of the 900 CS known as Marcello as your
name made his first appearance in law boy. This distinguished artist remained at the Metropolitan for eight consecutive seasons singing 36 roles in three languages. Few were enjoyed more biased public than his Mephistopheles and go nose follows. And one of the high points of the evening came as he sang Love O door. Very rich. But there are.
OK. Well week that we will. That was.
December 30 first 900 marked the return of the beloved Jean De Retz. After a season's absence he had done very little singing while he was gone. And rumors circulated that he would never sing again. As a result when he made his entrance in swan boat his Lohengrin he was greeted by an ovation which most people agree lasted for half an hour. This was to be the great tennis last doing the offseason and he packed it with performances of all the major roles in his repertory. No one knew that he did not intend to sing Ghent the Metropolitan till after he had sung his last performance in the postseason gala held on April 21st. Nevertheless his appearance was applauded as enthusiastically as if it had in fact been a formal farewell. Allowed to risk his retirement did not as Henderson had noted a year or two before signal the end of the opera. It did mark the end of the Metropolitans true golden age for the two remaining seasons of Groucho's regime the audiences learn the differences between all star casts and ideal
casts. With no 10 a day equal directs the form of brilliance was gone and drab productions and tired office became more noticeable. None of this has helped anyone the remaining stars began to drop out of rehearsals. Nevertheless this whole Euro Graus administration was one without equal in the history of the Metropolitan failing health forced to grow to resign at the end of the 902 season. Had he remained for only one more year he would have had the pleasure of presenting the metropolitan with its greatest star of all time and recall Caruso. He might not have been an exact duplicate of him but he certainly proved that the audience was more than willing to accept a new idol. Next week we'll be taking a look at Caruso's career through the recollections of two of his colleagues rows upon cell and Giuseppa Bumble Sheykh And we'll also talk with Bruno Serato who for many years was the great tennis
secretary until then. This is Milton Cross on behalf of Myles custom Deek hoping that you'll be with us. Boston University Radio has presented Hall of song the story of the Metropolitan Opera from eighteen eighty three thousand nine hundred sixty six. 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
1898 Through 1903
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-sb3wz46g).
Episode Description
1898 -1903. Features Maurice Grau, Lilli Lehmann, Johanna Gadski, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Antonio Scotti, Anton Van Rooy.
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
Performer: Lehmann, Lilli, 1848-1929
Performer: Grau, Maurice, 1849-1907
Performer: Gadski, Johanna, 1872-1932
Performer: Schumann-Heink, Ernestine, 1861-1936
Performer: Scotti, Antonio, 1866-1936
Producer: Calhoun, Richard
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-41-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:18
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Chicago: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1898 Through 1903,” 1966-09-28, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1898 Through 1903.” 1966-09-28. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1898 Through 1903. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from