Had cocktails with the wonderful Metropolitan Opera Guild for their 2009 Opera News Awards at Gotham Hall last night. The Guild has an illustrious history. In 1935, the Metropolitan Opera was in dire financial straits and set to close its doors. To the rescue came, Eleanor Robson Belmont, who talked the Board members into forming a guild of “opera-minded men and women”. Through direct appeals during curtain calls and on the radio, the Guild managed to recruit over 2,000 members who raised over $5,000 in the first year. Mrs. Belmont always envisioned Opera education as the focal point of the Guild and she developed radio programs and visitation opportunities, such as backstage rehearsal visits (I would love to do one of those!) and a Lecture/Tea series. In addition, she began publishing the Opera News in 1936, which remains the most widely read opera magazine in the world today. The Guild’s current programs have expanded into merchandise sales and book and CD publishing.
For more on how you can become a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild go to: http://www.metoperafamily.org/guild/[salbumphotos=57,72,6,n,n,picasa_order]