|Look at all them boxes! The interior of the old Metropolitan Opera House in 1937.|
"What Aristotle said: When one buys anything it is because the benefit promises to be greater than the sacrifice. To this may be added, that when the quality is absent from the transaction, the sacrifice is greater than the benefit. A W&J Sloane price indicates the quality, and W&J Sloane quality substantiates the price." —W&J Sloane ad excerpted from below
As readers probably know, New York City Opera was just at BAM doing Jonathan Miller’s fantastic production of La traviata. As we've written elsewhere, Verdi's warhorse has been here several times before, and we recently went poking around in the archives to see what we could find in the way of blog-worthy material evidence. Among the discoveries was this fascinating program from a 1922 performance by the Metropolitan Opera Company, conducted by Roberto Moranzoni in the wake of the storied reigns of Mahler and Toscanini. It’s a fascinating document, as much for the program proper as for the ads surrounding it: Aristotle selling fabrics and furniture, lunch in a refined atmosphere, diamonds and sapphires for sale.
|Program from a 1922 performance of La traviata at BAM.|
|The original Metropolitan Opera House at Broadway and 39th Street, 1905.|
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Publishing Company
For further reading, see Lawrence Levine's colorful Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America, Joseph Horowitz's Wagner Nights: An American History, and our post on the early days of BAM.