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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're cool. You're. Good. Louis. Vuitton. Your hosts are miles Kasten Deek music critic of The New York World Junior Tribune. And Milton Cross.
Well I guess by you know your old pretty well aware of the fact that the business of opera involves manages as well as musicians. The truth is that managing an opera company is probably one of the craziest jobs in the world. You've got to contend with a singer's conduct is a big orchestra chorus ballet stagehands and dozens of other groups not to mention unions and each group thinks its interests are the most important ones and each individual singer thinks that he or she is the only one in the whole company. On the surface the impresario must act as if he were taking the personal well-being of each member of his little family deeply too hot. But underneath it all he has to realize that if it's going to be any good at all then Opera Company must function as a homogeneous body not a jumble of personalities all struggling against each other. When God because I arrived at the Metropolitan in one thousand eight he seemed to be the best
qualified manager the company had found since 1883 to begin with. He had been an operatic impresario before coming to the Met and brought the knowledge of 10 years experience at La Scala with him. Gotti also brought Toscanini and this was a very smart move. Tuscany was not only valuable to Gotti as a conductor but also as an allied walking into a new and unknown situation. The manager never can tell what odds he'll find stacked against him that was particularly true in Gary's case with the developing complications with an ally especially one as popular as Toscanini. He always knew there would be someone around to help swing opinion in his favor if differences arose. The fact that Toscanini himself didn't agree with Gary in later years didn't matter so much he had the maestro support when he needed it most. The whole Toscanini situation pointed up another interesting aspect of Kathy's managerial
strategy. Getty was devoted to producing good opera but he also intended to make opera pay. He started badly losing over $200000 in his first season and somewhat more in the second. But the deficit hadn't gone for a lost cause by any means. Much of the loss came as a result of an extended season and an expended repertory in the second year. There were more new works. Another long season and also performances in Brooklyn and to Philadelphia Baltimore Atlanta and Paris and of course there was also the money to buy out Hammerstein. While some men were building railroad empire. Gaffney was building an operatic one his ambition paid off in the third season when the books showed a profit. Not a huge one but it was a start and the small mistake grew quickly. The 910 season netted over $30000 and
911 ran up a profit of more than 50000. The price of seats rose in 1912 and with it they profit claimed to well over one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. But strange to say Gotti made no public announcement of any profit until April. Nineteen hundred fourteen after a season with only modest returns as he left for Europe that time he said contrary to custom the Metropolitan actually showed a financial profit during the season just completed. This little understatement was still another indication of Godey's shrewdness. What would have happened if all along he had been loudly declaring home much money the company had taken him. Very simply his saying is would have realized that they had been taken in and that the management could afford to pay them higher salaries. It was all part of the juggling
routine required to keep opera in business. In 1913 Gotti found a new ally just separate Bumba Shek Bumba Shaq's arrival at the Met was the result of a curious set of circumstances about which we will hear in just a moment. And he was engaged as a conductor and as the company's musical secretary. In this dual capacity he was frequently on the spot having to cope with the singer's artistic problems during rehearsals and performances and then having to keep the same people contented. When it came time to negotiate contracts salaries and the roles they would perform. It was a difficult job for bamboo shack. As is the case with all middle man had to please his boss and all the people his boss employed. The years he spent at the Metropolitan were filled with humorous and bizarre incidents. Let's hear about some of these now as we listen to the conversation he had with Richard
Calhoun. Must Obama check you've got your musical training I guess in three hours here and then also went on to study medicine in Vienna and then what you left medicine altogether. Right when I came in you know a 19 teen their last request for somebody to go to America and shared a program bit by squad our motto who asked about it. And I just came out from the university and I figured out if I get the job I go to America and see America doesn't cost me anything I come home read a few hundred laugh and I've started my business medical business and I went to our model to the house to Prague and I was and then he was supposed to think in town that the U.S. stay if you die I get there and
the Toscanini West the conductor and impresario and his assistant vice Poppy. But Poppy got sick and I was there with a mob of two and a half for the program and I became an author my the caddy. I think the situation you know without bringing somebody from outside and then does get in it already got in America you just have just got to see me and it is just something I do have an intention to go back to Europe and that would have been a lot of them are won and that they bought. So when I came here to finish the Come talk to Rick a mouthful. You read all the files because I went to see research you say here but you got to didn't want to me who was a general manager. So I fired me I was engaged in 1913 the second week of the OP and I thought about all of this against the vision of God why did he
object to you or I don't know he said he didn't need it anymore. You see at that time we did have at 83 called Doc got so good all the job and about five assistant conductor. Now they have to have good doctors and I demand them assistance. You had another job at the Metropolitan too you were room I what they call a musical secretary was I mean a second type of press and a homemade diet and then became assistant to I mean this show sort of casting director then got the US taking the book and I think that that and the support out of my first two names and I get the feed you know out of the Senate and to see that nobody gets extra money for two performances in von day out of something like that I'm on the next contact now demand that I present any problems. In other words if you might get through or not I accept on my little dollar but in my downline through this via do I get that and this one gets stabbed and
you see the little things about the U.S. that if it is just that or them just say you have only one life. He had a very nice are very useful to get empty of the money that we promise you as long as you get your check your show that proved that is the value to us. But I generally agree with you about oh if they didn't I didn't have to. I won't gamble or the one about the Caruso band I was in I was in charge of the performance and in Brooklyn they said MRA. And after the first act I gave back the money to the public I was in the house. Never cause I want to live a pretty simple farmers. But there's a few guys on the sais I I couldn't get gap because I forgot that I couldn't find him in New York and see Glenn who was there the other was with a company in Philadelphia. The same day I gave the money and the gap if it would have been of
a bad man could have said now you're paying for it. It isn't what I was actually the beginning of Caruso's illness but I was actually I was and I said after I think about tomorrow the pharmacist and then after months here what was it about him that was so outstanding. Everyone says they don't know about us. Thank you. Of us a study of the monkey house in the Bronx that made the cause celebre of a person be a bit although I think it's all over the earth. Yeah but before that he was another guy not I care what exactly was the whole incident. They thought he was and then he made good on that bet. He must have a three pound three for the hand of him and looking at the monkeys in the cage. And there come a woman to ask why pump puss. Yeah. And Brando says he said I thought it was all there
it God inhabits the pigeon lives in the bay. So. He was laughing he he didn't end up with us and they never have and I see so far the same guy he did have to sing about a performance at the Metropolitan. But the policeman was on the set. From then on the way. Then from that time he became the famous covers of well there are a lot of great tenors at that time. The best I defend I do from Diana was an accident that I. Had I did from time to time their love of the kids that hear and hear about sharp good Dubie did engage the many ma not to ruin their careers a business really. Yeah you know he was it was all nice saying get out that time. Who has big game money at the box office and he didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable. Then he was doing the business right.
Another of the singers you worked a great deal with was the OP and I believe you conducted for him conducted by him then that he was not the subject Slavin who wanted a good doctor whom I say there and they didn't agree to many things. So I have asked conducting them all because that boat is called the law of the files when he was doing he was singing in Russian because I see and I thought you know I thought the company was showing up an almost temperamental was a lot of people you know I think one of our new rounds I did have Am Curious Incident and you know it was prohibited times and one evening at 6 o'clock in the evening we did our sold out for our bodies because he sais I can't he can't save a life. So I just I thought my severance of that song yeah that he will stay and brought him down to the that race you should come down to the theater and show yourself to the poverty and say that you know
that I have already do or ID for the costume that he came down and found that he had also gotten my clever ideas here prohibition times and child yappy years through like drinking a little bit you know. So I brought the idea to office one of the first for one flock. So I brought him through and through the other office from the top of the bottle the end of the scale of the loft of the both of us go he sayd I'm going to see you not found out about the Iraq war. Read out asking insisting here so you would condone it is that he is I have very little family was he really sick or just hard just look at that I'm not good and I don't want that. You would do some more too with Claudia mostly Oh yeah I've got them look you came here 1915 and since I have tossed sky
and she was quite temperamental you know when there was a died everybody of the out this that I'm at the point of want to be the success of that last part. Would you know this again. Oh the room and and my you know the whoever they are that knows what that means. Somebody everybody will do this it's but I have a lesson to them. And we didn't have anything singular they didn't win you know. But it's hampered you know the gap after that they were me refusing me. To get into the aisle Yes I mean the hamper on fire. I already signed the method I went even to the station to mooch or to make a change of mind but I couldn't do it.
He decided he knew about the saying about hamper the same game I was got because I'd sort of work with as a manager he was yeah because I thought I bet he was very intelligent ready could ever exit in memory and write a little on the lazy side and then he had thought of this. He didn't like to go to be social. He didn't like to go parties here just say office and home and home he had less medical I'll die and that's not so easy and the city had lit it and so did she remain with the opera company after they were divorced. Yes I love a member of the Alpha Company and but they didn't speak to each other. I was there in between you know when they said that if you have a comp in one play at the most out of the country. Oh good it's a good fee and
she telephoned me with such and such and am I free or do I have to sing at the Metropolitan. I know she was funny but I did have to ask gap year. I bought it I got to say I told you not to keep any satisfaction to my wife so I don't know by the way we see it laid out on trial at 5 o'clock in the aftermath she telephones me and Emmy for me and most of us all three but I couldn't give a permission without Gattis consent so I don't know yet. Yes you have three but that might be a possible change in the cast and you my rep have to the place and I pass. So see I said that in my house from his opinion you had a bigot because you're nice. You think things have changed much at the map today.
The management of course is a lot larger now than it was that a lad just a media savvy and then the second that he has a second that is said I don't care to do you and I got to work together in determining the repertoire for a season or was it all up to him. That's all up to him it's up to me and you will find that saying about the walk about two months before the ending of the season to make their announcement to the public what generally determined what works you were going to do with it. I mean we had shut out this on that contract and wrath would be the best I have nothing but the best for the public. Well the best for that. Yes I have been there. Yeah yeah it's of us engage in their little part here it would have like to think Catherine but Kavin that's a little brick you have right there we took there. I thought this slap by karma guard that's about the success of yet it's a cheap bastard.
She may have debut in the OP but I have not heard you know she was a very beautiful woman beautiful bright gold bars and the mother for a father. But last that was one of the few exceptions that the mother got a success from the Fast for farmers. Well James actually when the things were a little more liberal in those days and they are now because management today doesn't seem willing to take much of a risk at all. Oh but you see now there are quite a difference and I guess there were always financial difficulties with them and not in my bet a lot of time in profit except that they had off the twenty nine when you left. Yeah 29 and then plant Deathy and then that started a terrible business. Save the myth about and send a daughter I have a daughter father and you can save them at the by and give us a very good appetite as one front to back them body then through that campaign and to save the
middle part and they got lots of come to power and they made lots of money. And Jack did it kind of odd that they won't someday have us home here and he wanted me to go down to the myth about I was out of them. I think it's you know when say I'm going to give up. I mean this kind of business. And I say you know you cannot do that. He was so much office and house you know that if the minute he gives up walking him I die I die. He just he said I think NATION. And then say but I was the first one to know. Yeah that's a medicine on top posted. Time to think about what he would change. He couldn't be elastic. He would break but when I met you conducted a variety of things I mean just about everything and I
mean mostly Italian up and about and the Russian of difficulty of the their brand cigar the bodice God enough and then they're on to I was the javelin come down that is conducted out of the javelin I really. Yeah. Well you and Toscanini must have been quite close out there you know he was very camp to me. He gave me that my chance and I was very thankful but he when he left the Metropolitan then US left then I saw him in the sky at the end that if your parents are going to know how dishes and. But we just spoke I mean. I'm trying to leave but I don't know why Internet that was kind of a scene and a guy and just getting us Rocky up and down on it. Yeah and his wife have a sit in your lawn chair and you know I mean
my avarice and I do have had the case in my words about it as a judge she led to the mass I think matters right. I used my will to settle after such a bait I mean I think this blogger was coming out was a very critical of singers. Yes he thought I was the mom I think you know that's an apple not my laty. And he went big. It's true. And he meant to say the 19th death that he was the impetus I knew and then I thought of the Creator and body of us at the reactor but he put it back to Barney that I be at the pump two months had this month in me now and I'm going to have two hours a day and walking very high that if he didn't do it he wanted to do it because it started to get wet inside of him but she
did a very good thing I've got that right now. It helps that. That's what I was wondering is most of the singers who can recollect and do admire him very much I mean a single even somebody is not music and should see that it's only a self but he fought he even thought of people listened to him. I don't want that after people especially need to be here. They studied six months and I think and ask God all of our answers they got us God and he said he would have otherwise. Everybody wants to get them at the PI doing that that would have us and we have to he had oh I want to be pretty that would dish and I thought that if we had any of the really great names of the might come out of the auditions you know they both engage even at 75 to 80 and up to three as is and this march by the even that chair they put on the run wanted that to
happen. I mean that after about their stupidity you know Scott he that made they can I give it you see you had piled staff Id have far more deferments Ron let's enjoy this shits and. And he said God best buddy saw me netted him the second far out of here but badmouth a big call and he got sick. So it was a tough one sided. I don't have it and I have. He succeeded in therapy and I satisfy a class conducted. And they even have their performance in the first scene and the second I after they cut and came down Scott they came out to thank the poverty. But he should have brought also did everything that people have you know about important by Adam Scott in that scene. And Scott did you know
Paul got oral didn't do it intentionally just he went I thought I did probably thought about asking for David. And the next save us first page The New York Times and think that and that made people in part that mad I mean he's got here from 75 and devoured them and I would say Well Scotty was just about at the end of his career at that point I thought it was the end it was good he had his I had it and I think that then he sang Tosca and I think that he and and thus can any of us conducting. But the skinny came after the first sight of this Asian the rawest had about the issue of a tally I don't know man you know of us tell me I can't stand the thought of him and refused to conduct after the thought of how are they going to Polack Are you sure that that a 19 dumb thing to tell but get it I mean I think that it would thread yet not in the SLN. He was a excellent actor. The public was told to Scotty. The public wanted Scotty
and they gathered till he died he was nearly dying on the U.S. body boneset and lost people I thought I had in there a matter of the globby they didn't read the scene too long and everybody remembers them. But thus I just have to say to you that I just X they me is normally wrong to say that somebody was a little Scotty will save your tears and or poor Scotty you should do it. But nobody in every cottage will say now though. When I was cause even though you left the med in 1929 you continued to be active in opera conducting every minute of it on their feet and then worked with some of the more recent Metropolitan Art of yes. I gave him part of September I will be there for you then disappear that if you open a company at that time. Any advice if you
practicality it Metapad not been a company or an engaged mother that this fundamental pattern for that company. Did you notice any outstanding differences between the singers of today and the ones when you were active at them I know they used to sing better than they seem now I think you know who we have allowed and I know its true. They want to show our baby now and Hudson who I would I had not long guess its And I had to. But do you think audiences today are generally more receptive to new We're going to see today I'm not. They say that but I say so yes. Shows just like how bitchin I think about the public go us once a day lost like about five. They want that matter the above something. Why of avid Puccini of us how this brought out the
money and they don't want that order this thing now. In the live thing you did the best thing you're out of money. Now he's out of money. You've just been listening to Giuseppe Bamba a man who worked in two camps at the Met as conductor as the company's musical secretary. Oh next week's program will be back to see how the supplier or the company both artistic and financial developed in the following years. For no this is Milton Cross on behalf of miles custom geek inviting you to join us again there in. 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
Producing Organization
WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
1913. Giuseppe Bamboschek arrives in New York to serve as company's musical secretary. In an interview he describes the difficult situations he encountered during the Gatti era.
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: Bamboschek, Giuseppe
Producer: Calhoun, Richard
Producing Organization: WBUR (Radio station : Boston, Mass.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-41-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:29
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Chicago: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1913,” 1966-11-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1913.” 1966-11-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Hall of song: The 'Met,' 1883-1966; 1913. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from