5000 Nights at the Opera: The Memoirs of Sir Rudolf Bing is a 360-page cloth-bound hardcover published in 1972 by Doubleday & Company, Inc., New York. The dust jacket has chips and small tears along the edges. Inside, the pages are clean and unmarked and the pages are solidly bound.
The long-awaited memoirs of the man who, for twenty-three years, was general manager of the Metropolitan Opera House. Here, Sir Rudolf Bing tells all, and he names names.
With wit, with style, sometimes with anger, Sir Rudolf takes the reader into the heady world of opera and into some backstage dramas the audience never sees (he gives details of his celebrated feuds with Maria Callas and others).
Sir Rudolf describes what he found when he first visited the Met: stars who refused to rehearse and a company in a deplorable state of disarray. He writes of his clashes with members of the Met's board of directors, with sopranos, tenors, conductors, stage directors, labor leaders, and the press. He tells of the growing need for a new house and of the move to Lincoln Center ("the first year at Lincoln Center was one disaster after another") and carries the story right up to his retirement at the end of the 1971-1972 season.
Here is a very special glimpse into life in an opera house--the often tumultuous emotions that lie behind the color and spectacle of the stage, the often surprising things the great voices say when not raised in thrilling song, and the joys, challenges, and disappointments that came to the man, who for more than two decades, set the whole fantastic enterprise in glorious sound and motion.