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Molto Agitato: The Mayhem behind the Muisc at the Metropolitan Operaby Johanna Fiedler
Synopses & Reviews
Behind the gold curtains of the Metropolitan Opera House, amidst the elaborate sets, bejeweled costumes, and labyrinth of administrative offices, the Met has traditionally operated in great secrecy. Until now.
Johanna Fiedler, who was the Met's general press representative for fifteen years, draws upon her insider’s knowledge and rivetingly reveals for the first time the company's Byzantine inner workings and the personal, social, economic, and artistic struggles that have always characterized the Met.
Molto Agitato is a tale with an appropriately operatic cast of characters_haughty blue bloods, ambitious social climbers, determined administrators, stubborn board members, temperamental artists_all maneuvering to use their power and influence to make the Met conform to their own agendas. Fiedler brings to life the early days of the Met, with the imperious Toscanini arriving from Italy and Caruso filling the house; the post-WW II years, when the unions gained strength and plagued the company with strikes; and the ever present passions of tenors and sopranos, clashing offstage as well as on. But most revelatory are Fiedler's portrayals of James Levine and Joseph Volpe and their practically parallel ascendancies_Levine rising from prodigy to artistic director, Volpe advancing from stagehand to general manager_and their once strained relationship that was compounded by Volpe's much publicized firing of the soprano Kathleen Battle.
With its swift-flowing narrative, Molto Agitato is a wonderfully entertaining and thoroughly engaging account not only of one of the world's most respected and richest music institutions but also of power, politics, ambition, and egos.
From the Hardcover edition.
A powerful glimpse into the passions, ambitions, and high-stakes corporate and sexual politics lurking behind the elegant facade of the Metropolitan Opera House reveals the many scandals, acts of ruthlessness, and unaesthetic manuevers that have plagued this illustrious institution for the last twenty-five years. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Johanna Fiedler is the daughter of Arthur Fiedler, the long-time conductor of the Boston Pops, and has worked in the field of classical music for many years. She is the author of Arthur Fiedler: Papa, the Pops, and Me. She lives in New York City.
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