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  1. #16
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    I was at a Met production in the 1980s that was a legendary disaster. (I think it was the same season as the Macbeth, which was a disaster EVERY night, due to some staging absurdities -- a whizzing around on brooms that we now would call the Ride of The Quidditch-Playing Valkyries, and a dance that I then called "Nude Hecate and the 8 Wilis". But I digress ...)

    It was announced beforehand that the tenor -- perhaps Placido Domingo -- was sick but would try to sing. He only made it through the first act. An alternate tenor came on to sing, but obviously didn't know where he was supposed to be on stage, so the soprano almost literally dragged him around. Most visibly, she did this by grabbing his hands while he had his arms around her from behind.

    This gave some folks in the audience the impression the tenor was grabbing the soprano -- accidentally or on purpose as the case may be -- in an inappropriately friendly way. Laughter ensued. Eventually, the tenor motioned to the conductor to stop the orchestra, and admonished the audience in what I presume was Italian. It didn't help much, but the show went on ...

    ... but there was yet another difficulty. In the last intermission, there was a loud clatter from the orchestra pit. It seems the conductor had collapsed from flu-like symptoms, or else apoplexy from the disaster the show had been to that point. An alternate conducted the last act, quite competently, which may be the only time in recent memory somebody conducted the Metropolitan Orchestra in a live performance while wearing sport jacket.

    The NYT review said there were fistfights in the audience. I didn't notice those, but it was quite the night anyway ...

    Ahh. There's a write-up at http://books.google.com/books?id=ERo...ductor&f=false. It was La Gioconda in 1982. But I disagree with the book as to who it was that addressed the audience. On the other hand, I may have been wrong about Macbeth being that season; I'd guess it was more like 1984 or 5.
    APF doesn't come in screaming at others about how stupid they are. APF doesn't spam NST with the same tired topic 30 times a month. APF doesn't link to some kook in his mom's basement telling you how to, "Be afraid. Be very afraid" of the world falling down around you. And, when APF is proven wrong, he acknowledges he made a mistake and moves on, rather than harping about "sheeple."

    -- Cory Bonini

    Welchie summarized

  2. #17
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    My favorite story, which may or may not be true (although Walter Slezak swore it was), involves a Pagliacci in Naples. The Tonio starts the opera by delivering the Prologue...and it's bad. The audience boos and jeers, and he shoots back, "Why whistle at me? Wait 'til you hear the tenor!"

    Later, when Nedda does her aria, it's rough. Astonishingly enough, however, there are calls from the upper decks for an encore. So she does it again, and it's even worse. But again, calls from the upper deck for an encore! Those below shout back, "Basta (enough)!"

    And then one voice in the upper deck shouts, "She'll sing it until she gets it right!"
    "No two people on Earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or else it isn't music."—Billie Holliday

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim in NYC View Post
    My favorite story, which may or may not be true (although Walter Slezak swore it was), involves a Pagliacci in Naples. The Tonio starts the opera by delivering the Prologue...and it's bad. The audience boos and jeers, and he shoots back, "Why whistle at me? Wait 'til you hear the tenor!"

    Later, when Nedda does her aria, it's rough. Astonishingly enough, however, there are calls from the upper decks for an encore. So she does it again, and it's even worse. But again, calls from the upper deck for an encore! Those below shout back, "Basta (enough)!"

    And then one voice in the upper deck shouts, "She'll sing it until she gets it right!"
    I think that story has been told about lots of artists, pieces, and venues. In the version I heard, it was a violinist.

    Speaking of apocryphal stories, the year Lotus released the product Symphony, it had its annual meeting in Symphony Hall. (1984 or so.) My assistant and I traveled from New York to attend, but didn't stay in the same place, as he had family in Boston. He mentioned that he didn't actually know where Symphony Hall was (he'd grown up in the suburbs). Uncharacteristically, I didn't volunteer the information. Instead, I waited for him to actually ask:

    "How do you get to Symphony Hall?"


    .............................



    The answer to that question, of course, was:

    "Practice!!!!"
    Last edited by AndromedaPatFan; 12-30-2013 at 08:36 PM.
    APF doesn't come in screaming at others about how stupid they are. APF doesn't spam NST with the same tired topic 30 times a month. APF doesn't link to some kook in his mom's basement telling you how to, "Be afraid. Be very afraid" of the world falling down around you. And, when APF is proven wrong, he acknowledges he made a mistake and moves on, rather than harping about "sheeple."

    -- Cory Bonini

    Welchie summarized

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndromedaPatFan View Post
    I think that story has been told about lots of artists, pieces, and venues. In the version I heard, it was a violinist.

    Speaking of apocryphal stories, the year Lotus released the product Symphony, it had its annual meeting in Symphony Hall. (1984 or so.) My assistant and I traveled from New York to attend, but didn't stay in the same place, as he had family in Boston. He mentioned that he didn't actually know where Symphony Hall was (he'd grown up in the suburbs). Uncharacteristically, I didn't volunteer the information. Instead, I waited for him to actually ask:

    "How do you get to Symphony Hall?"


    .............................



    The answer to that question, of course, was:

    "Practice!!!!"
    Carnegie Hall sends its regards.
    "No two people on Earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or else it isn't music."—Billie Holliday

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim in NYC View Post
    Carnegie Hall sends its regards.
    Indeed.

    Since I studied the violin growing up, I first heard that story about Jascha Heifitz. How about you?
    APF doesn't come in screaming at others about how stupid they are. APF doesn't spam NST with the same tired topic 30 times a month. APF doesn't link to some kook in his mom's basement telling you how to, "Be afraid. Be very afraid" of the world falling down around you. And, when APF is proven wrong, he acknowledges he made a mistake and moves on, rather than harping about "sheeple."

    -- Cory Bonini

    Welchie summarized

  6. #21
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    It's been too long, I can't remember.

    Although my first concert at Carnegie was with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus (spits on floor), so I might have a different answer to that question...
    "No two people on Earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or else it isn't music."—Billie Holliday

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