“Flagstad and Melchoir….and….”


Diane Judge

My only thoughts about the opera as I knew it, go too far back.  My anecdotes all date from the forties and fifties and the old Met and who wants to hear them?  They read like  — “I saw Flagstad’s farewell performance — all six of them.”   Or Melchior in “Tannenbaum”  singing his great aria before boarding the swan  — only the swan never comes.  three times he cues his aria and no swan….finally he walks stage front and addresses the audience.  “Does anyone know what time is the next swan?”
Standing at the old Met after W W II was great — the tickets cost two bucks and no one wanted to see Wagner because of the war.  So you always sat and in some of the best seats with Traubel and Flagstad, Melchior and Warren .  Standing high up in the Family Circle for only $1.50 and watching that glorious crystal chandalier rise above you.  Going to the Automat on a break, and making soup out of hot water and ketchup for nothing.  Seeing the scenery for the next performance standing on 39th Street as they had no storage inside — only in Secaucus.  and when it got too cold, ’cause in those days you stood until curtain, you gave up and went to the beautiful Empire Theatre on Bdwy & 40th where Ethel Barrymore’s glorious portrait hung in the lobby — and bought a standing room ticket to whatever — Julie Harris in “Member of the Wedding,” or Jean Arthur in “Peter Pan.”  So, see what I mean?  I’m too dated with the exception of seeing you on stage at the new Met, nothing sweet has ever happened.
Love you

~ by aprilemillo on June 25, 2007.

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