The Toughest Show on Earth is the ultimate behind-the-scenes chronicle of the divas and the dramas of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, by the remarkable man who rose from apprentice carpenter to general manager.
Joseph Volpe gives us an anecdote-filled tour of more than four decades at the Met, an institution full of vast egos and complicated politics. With stunning candor, he writes about the general managers he worked under, his embattled rise to the top, the maneuverings of the blue-chip board, and his masterful approach to making a family of such artist-stars as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Teresa Stratas, and Renee Fleming, and such visionary directors as Franco Zeffirelli, Robert Wilson, and Julie Taymor. Intimate and frank, The Toughest Show on Earth is not only essential for music lovers, but for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the culture business.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Toughest Show on Earth|
|Release Date: 02-19-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Toughest Show...|
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The Toughest Show on Earth
My maternal grandmother, Marianna Cavallaro, spoke no English, and whenever she came to babysit for me and my sisters while our parents were out, she’d go over to a shelf in the living room, take down a record album, and say to me in Italian, “Joey, put this on.”
I was only five or six, and carrying the bulky volume of 78s over to the Victrola wasn’t easy. But I liked climbing up on a stool, removing a shiny black disc from its sleeve, hearing it plop into place, and then positioning the needle in the groove. My grandmother always sat in the same place—an armchair with a straight back that made it impossible to slouch. She wanted me to sit nearby on the sofa, perfectly still. But I hated sitting still. Once the music started and my grandmother closed her eyes, I slid down to the floor, leaned against the sofa, and imagined myself somewhere else.
The music was always the same—Mascagni’s one-act opera Cavalleria Rusticana, which is set in a Sicilian village like the one from which my grandmother had come to America, not long after the opera was written, at the turn of the century. Nobody told me that this was “opera.” Even if anyone had, I wouldn’t have paid attention. This music belonged to my grandmother. It made her happy. She always insisted on listening to the whole album—there were perhaps eight or ten discs—and she never fell asleep. I guess she picked that particular chair so she wouldn’t miss a note.
I couldn’t fall asleep either. Before I knew it, the needle had reached the center of the disc, t