By Giuseppe Verdi
As a young child my first introduction to opera may have been serendipitously through the cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings. Elmer Fudd singing to the music from Richard Wagner’s Tannahuser, “Oh, Bwunnhilde you are so wovely” still rings in my ears. It wasn’t until I was eight years old that I was exposed to the real thing.
After lunch on Saturdays, my Mother would turn on the radio that sat in the middle foyer of our house and the most marvelously clear and elegant voice would say, ” Live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, this is Milton Cross.” Mr. Cross’s voice resonated throughout our entire house. Mother and I were instantly transported from our sleepy little town in South Carolina to the glittering world of New York City and Grand Opera. I believe the first opera I heard was Aida. It was magical.
Little did I know then that one day I would be In New York and at the Metropolitan Opera House seeing Aida and that my husband would be a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Commenting during the early days of the Met radio broadcasts, Mrs. August Belmont said “Opera has grown from a private luxury to a national necessity.” Today millions of listeners world wide tune in to listen to the Saturday afternoon broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera.