The Met: One Hundred Years of Grand Opera by Martin Mayer is a 368-page hardcover published in 1983 by Simon and Schuster, New York. The dust jacket has light shelf wear but no chips or tears. Inside, the beautiful red cloth hardcover shows no evidence of ever being opened, with crisp clean pages and tight binding. The condition is very good.
Martin Mayer writes that "for the past century the story of opera worldwide has been inseparable from the story of the Met." And never before has the story of the world's greatest opera company has been told so compellingly and illustrated so lavishly as it is here. In commemorations of its centennial, the Metropolitan Opera for the first time has opened all its massive and fascinating archives for this celebration of a hundred years of musical glory. The history proves even more glamorous than the legends.
Martin Mayer takes us on stage at the Met and backstage, into the audience and the board rooms. For the story of the artistic enterprise of the Metropolitan, by far the largest performing arts institution in the country, is also a story of America's social and financial leadership and its enthusiasm for opera. That enthusiasm was already well established in New York City in 1880 when the lawyers for William H. Vanderbilt summoned a committee to plan and finance the construction of the great theater that opened on October 22, 1883.
Mr. Mayer tells the story of the Met's managements, from the tragicomedy of Henry Abbey's first season to the triumphant generation of Giulio Gatti-Casazza, through the twenty-two years of Rudolf Bing and the collective management that followed. This is the story of the old house and the rise of Lincoln Center, the arrival of television and the immense growth of the operatic constituency in America. After a hundred crowded years of incident and personality, the Met flourishes not only in memories but in bright modern performances--and The Met: One Hundred Years of Grand Opera tells the story.