The Miracle of the Met (Metropolitan Opera)  Quaintance Eaton
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The Miracle of the Met (Metropolitan Opera)  Quaintance Eaton
B1853. QUAINTANCE EATON. THE MIRACLE OF THE MET, An informal history of the Metropolitan Opera. New York, Meredith, 1968. 490pp. Index; Photos; DJ.


"An informal history of the Metropolitan Opera crosses the footlights in the old and new house to tell of backers, managers, artists and opera. There is panache aplenty in this compendium, from the name society who drew for boxes in the old house ('hardly a music lover in the lot') through feuding prima donnas and tenors. Miss Eaton has more consideration for managerial reigns than earlier histories (she will have to compete with Irving Kolodin's history, revised in 1966 for an audience), gives the tone, the high points and low of the tenures from Gatti-Casazza through Bing. She sets her stars in the firmament of the Met with precision, characterizing careers, qualifications, and relations with management and colleagues. Not an inside Job, but Miss Eaton (of OPERA NEWS) has done her homework and writes with some authority.”


“Quaintance Eaton, a writer of books and articles on opera, became a devotee of opera long before moving to New York City in the 1920s. She frequently wrote on the subject for MUSICAL AMERICA, eventually becoming an associate editor, and was a contributing editor to OPERA NEWS.

In 1957, her book OPERA CARAVAN, an anecdotal history of the Metropolitan Opera on tour, was praised by Howard Taubman, then chief music critic of THE NEW YORK TIMES, as ‘both diverting and informative’.

In the 1960s, she published two histories that have become standard works: THE BOSTON OPERA COMPANY (1965) and THE MIRACLE OF THE MET (1968). She was also executive secretary of the National Federation of Music Clubs and of the New York City Opera Guild.

Her last book, published in 1987, was SUTHERLAND AND BONYNGE: AN INTIMATE BIOGRAPHY, about Dame Joan Sutherland and her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge.

Miss Eaton was known among opera audiences for the chinchilla coat she wore and for her collection of stylish hats, said to number 250.”

- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15 April, 1992