From Publishers Weekly
A gent, Chapin abides by his word not to burden opera devotees with "treacly apographs or pompous coffee-table essays." Still, neither can it be said that his book is notable for its high-cultural dignity, given his reminiscences of a terrified Birgit Nilsson wetting her pants on stage in a 1972 Met production of Siegfried as the prop mechanics failed. Along with recreating the Sturm und Drang of his tenure as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera House (1972-1975), Chapin, who is now Cultural Commissioner of New York City, provides revealing sidelights on the characters of the 30 music artists he profiles. Heldentenor Jon Vickers is given to verbal fireworks in his passion to "do things right"; soprano Teresa Stratas, "a slip of a woman," elicits Chapin's "frustration and exasperation" but also his love and awe; basso Martti Talvela, at 6'7," is a "gentle giant." Chapin has booked a dream cast for this production. Among the singers profiled are Richard Tucker, Joan Sutherland, Leontyne Price, Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, James Morris and Luciano Pavarotti. His "other friends" include Stephen Sondheim, Andre Previn, Isaac Stern and James Levine.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
Unique and compelling portraits of the greatest stars from the world of opera. A deft combination of text and photographs, this exciting book evokes the drama and passion that is the grand opera. It's all here: personal and professional tensions, quirks, habits, explosions, and the agonies and the ecstasies of the great singers and conductors of our time. 50 duotone illustrations.