B0019. Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met. Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, 1931-50. Paul Jackson. Portland, OR, Amadeus, 1992. 569pp. Index; Bibliography; Numerous Photos; DJ. - 9780931340482
"Like John Steane’s The Grand Tradition. . .this is destined to become a virtual bible for collectors and may prove very hard to find once it’s gone out of print."
— Marc Mandel, Fanfare
"This book contains some of the finest commentary on vocal performances ever published and should be obligatory reading for every critic who currently reports on the operatic scene."
— The Record Collector
"Of course, I found reviewing this volume pure serendipity...It is not simply a matter of curiosity at reading about such legendary (afternoons) at the opera miraculously preserved on disc...but also the distinction of the judgements and their descriptions that so catches one’s imagination...I found Jackson at once illuminating and pertinent in his comments. He is no fan overpraising lavishly, rather a fastidious student of the voice, and the art of acting with it."
— Alan Blyth, Opera
"Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met is the best surprise a writer has sprung on an opera lover since J. B. Steane. . .produced The Grand Tradition more than 20 years ago. Paul Jackson, retired dean of the College of Fine Arts at Drake University, has. . .produced a thorough and thoroughly entertaining history of the first 19 years of the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. . . .A well-written, exhaustive and stimulatingly opinionated history and survey."
— Richard Dyer , The Boston Globe
". . .A fascinating history of opera as it was performed at the Met over a twenty-year period using the broadcasts as basis. . . . Warning: don’t start idly reading through it in the local bookstore if you don’t intend to buy it: before you know what’s hit you, you’ll be reaching for that credit card!"
— James Miller, Fanfare
"In addition to Jackson’s considerable academic training, his practical performing experience includes tours as a pianist with many Metropolitan Opera singers. This combination of performer and scholar is clearly evident in his book, a meticulously researched volume, to which he has brought a musicologist’s commitment to scholarship and documentation. Yet his knowledge and enthusiasm for operatic performance on an artistic and human level make his book fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable reading, with his commentary on the performances revealing a rare depth of understanding. It would be difficult to imagine an author more ideally suited to such an undertaking."
— Gary A. Galo, Notes
"...here is one of the best opera books I have ever read....It's the next-best thing to having been there during the Johnson era or having heard the actual broadcasts. Warning: don't start idly reading through it in the local bookstore if you don't intend to buy it: before you know what's hit you, you'll be reaching for that credit card!"
- James Miller, FANFARE, May/June, 1993