Music: Tin Cups at the Met

In the Depression-ridden 1930s, Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera faced what Critic Irving Kolodin referred to as the "Operdämmerung": the house was half empty night after night, much of the gold had drained out of the golden horseshoe, and management was not sure from one month to the next whether the curtain would rise again. What saved the Met more than anything else was Mrs. August Belmont's idea for replacing the top hats and tiaras with an auxiliary known as the Metropolitan Opera Guild. In the 25 years since then the guild has grown into the nation's biggest, most dedicated band of opera...

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