March 14, 2012

Album of the Week: Metropolitan Opera Centennial


Hirschfeld had been drawing Metropolitan Opera productions since 1952 when he captured the all-star team working on The Rake’s Progress. A quarter century later, he received his first commission to distill the Met’s rich productions into line for promotion of the Met’s radio broadcasts. What began as a single drawing, turned into a decade-long diary of the Met covering over 40 significant productions and more than 100 performers. Perhaps no other major artist documented Metropolitan Opera history for as long and as interesting as Al Hirschfeld.

This 1984 release takes elements of Hirschfeld's decade of opera drawings to make a composite surrounding a birthday cake that Hirschfeld drew for the occasion. The album was released by the Met itself and is out of print.

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