Music: Progress Party

Lily Pons drank from a nursing bottle, Rosa Ponselle rode a bicycle, big Lauritz Melchior, forgetting he was the world's greatest Wagnerian tenor, dressed up like Salome with painted toenails. Because the Metropolitan Opera Company is again desperately hard up it was giving its third Opera Surprise Party. New Yorkers paid $14,000 and laughed three hours to see the expensive singers without wigs or dignity.

"Time stumbles on." shouted Raymond Knight, a National Broadcasting Company announcer who mastered the ceremonies from a grandtier box. He had written a comical libretto called "A Half...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!