Monday, June 29, 2009

The More Things Change....

From TIME magazine:

"Singer, musician and stage official will have ten minutes of leisure. During those minutes the singer, musician or stage official smokes a cigarette, and is a picture of negligent loafing. He tells stories among his fellows, plays pranks and howls with laughter. Seemingly, he is constitutionally incapable of effort. But you may see him glance at the clock, and move quickly away. The clock is the slave-driver. Everything moves by exact timing. On the minute the singer hurries backstage for a rehearsal, the assistant conductor to play the organ or direct the trumpets behind the scenes, the stage official to give the signal for the curtain or the descent of the dove or the collapse of the temple. The amount of work done, especially by the men who coach the singers, lead the orchestra and direct the details of production, is enormous, and they are driven with precision and discipline that, with all the air of ease around the opera house, is nerve racking."

May 5, 1923 but it could just as easily be today. The article also talks about the new Met house to be built, and a Metropolitan Opera profit of $200,000 a year - a huge sum of money for the time. I just thought that it made for interesting reading.

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