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October 28, 2021 [heathercoxrichardson.substack.com]

 

By Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, October, 28, 2021

In 1929, October 28 was a Monday, the opening night for New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Four thousand glittering attendees thronged to the elegant building on foot or in one of a thousand limousines to see Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, the melodramatic story of an innocent French girl seduced by wealth, whose reluctance to leave her riches for true love leads to her arrest, deportation to the wilds of America, and tragic death. Flash bulbs blinded the crowd, gathered to see famous faces and expensive gowns, as photographers recorded the arrivals of the era’s social celebrities.

No one toasting the beginning of the opera season that night knew they were toasting the end of an era.

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