B0841. METROPOLITAN OPERA. THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE, The Life and Times of the Metropolitan Opera House. By the editors of Opera News, Frank Merkling, John W. Freeman, Gerald Fitzgerald, with Arthur Solin. Prologue by Eleanor R. Belmont. Epilogue by Anthony A. Bliss. New York, Viking Press, 1965. 319pp. Numerous photos, some in color. Appendices; Index; Picture Credits. DJ. -
"Published just before the scheduled move to the projected Lincoln Center, this beautiful book fully documents the wonderful story of the Metropolitan Opera Company in the old Metropolitan Opera House, one of the most storied opera houses in the world. Beautiful and sumptuous photos support and addend the stories of the history of the Met. It shows the full extent of the civic despoliation that the Met committed when they demanded the old Met be torn down rather than see it go to the hands of any other opera company, because they knew whoever owned the old Met would become the greatest opera company in New York City. Thus, out of nothing more and nothing less than spite and pride, they had this magnificent building, with all its memories and famous events, torn down. And what do we have as a replacement? Something with all the beauty and uniqueness of a park bench or a subway platform! The acoustics …never achieved the acoustic quality of the old Met.
I remember personally standing on the stage of the old Met and talking in a normal tone of voice and being heard and understood word for word in the Family Circle, the fifth tier in the far back of that cavernous space. My wish is for some rich patron - and there are now some very rich individuals, a Michael Bloomberg for instance - to replace the Golden Horseshoe, and once again let opera sing to its full potential in this City!"
- Roger Burns
“Gerald Fitzgerald, an associate editor of OPERA NEWS magazine since 1960 and a well-known figure in American opera, also served as an associate editor of BALLET NEWS during its seven-year existence, from 1979 to 1986. Like OPERA NEWS, BALLET NEWS was published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild. His editorial capacity with the Guild involved him in a wide variety of activities, most of them consisting of photographic documentation of the Met. But his most important project was the two-volume revision of the MET annals.
Mr. Fitzgerald served as picture consultant or editor for many opera books, among them THE GOLDEN HORSESHOE [above], CALLAS, CELEBRATION: THE METROPOLITAN OPERA, THE MET: 100 YEARS OF GRAND OPERA, MAGNIFICENCE ONSTAGE AT THE MET,THE STAGES OF MENOTTI and GRANDISSIMO PAVAROTTI. He also produced slide shows and publications for a variety of Guild functions, and intermission features for the LIVE FROM THE MET telecasts starting in 1977.
In 1956, he joined the staff of OPERA NEWS, becoming an assistant editor in 1959 and an associate editor the next year. Aside from his Guild activities, he worked for several summers in the early 1960s for Gian Carlo Menotti's FESTIVAL OF TWO WORLDS in Spoleto, Italy, editing program books and other publications.”
- John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 24 May, 1990