Sir Rudolph Bing is most famous for running the New York Metropolitan Opera House through the '50s, 60's, and into the '70's. In this time he witnessed some of the most amazing opera the world has ever seen. Of course the book does not start there. Bing had lived a full life before even signing on at the Met. I found this book to be very well-written. Sir Rudolph Bing's personality really shows through in his writing. If you are at all interested in opera, life during the World Wars or just hearing about the flaws of world famous celebrities, I highly recommend this. - David C.
If you have a love of opera (and maybe even if you don't), this book is fascinating. So, okay, parts of it are self-serving, although I felt that it was equally a way for Sir Rudolf to make up to people he might have offended, but there are a lot of stories worth reading here. Like the time he and the Nazis arrived in Vienna on the same day. Look it up!
I came to this book by way of one of Mr. Bing's successors. Having read Joseph Volpe's "Toughest Show on Earth," I encountered many interesting and humorous stories about Mr. Bing contained therein. Mr. Volpe's tenure coincided closely to the period of time when I was attending operas at the Metropolitan, so it held very personal interest to me. Mr. Bing's tenure was well before I even knew anything about opera, however, it was during his years that many of the great singers of my generation were introduced to the Met roster. Mr. Bing comes across as a very elegant gentleman, with a wonderfully dry sense of humor, but who also seems very down to earth, as is evident in this book and Mr. Volpe's. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in opera, particularly the Metropolitan.
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