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The Toughest Show on Earthby Charles Michener
Synopses & Reviews
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.
On the eve of his retirement as general manager of The Metropolitan Opera, the outspoken culture czar offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at one of the world's great operatic houses, recalling the political and artistic intrigues in which he has played a part, the business of running a cultural institution, and his collaboration with noted musicians, singers, directors, and conductors. Reprint.
Engaging . . . delightful . . . A classic American success story.
--The New York Times
This engaging volume will delight readers for whom opera is not only an art but also an endless fount of good gossip. . . . A rarity-one of those much-ballyhooed 'insider books' that actually delivers the goods. --The Washington Post Book World
Fascinating. . . . Volpe's story] has the golden glow of the American dream.
--The New York Sun
A gripping journey of personal and professional discovery.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Table of Contents
The apprentice. "Be patient" ; Always on the go ; King Farouk ; A box at the Metropolitan ; Too many clouds ; "Can you handle the job?" ; A man of the theater ; From the water to the bridge ; Texas grit ; The turnaround man — The boss. Breathing with Jimmy ; Battle hymn ; The new prima donnas ; The playground ; Siamese twins ; The trapeze artists ; No light in the tunnel ; The club ; The new class ; At home ; The angel.
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