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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

Lasker:

I don't even know. A Russian composer. And I remember that visually it was so enchanting that I was deeply grateful to this man, of whom it was said in the program that he had given the production, Otto Kahn. And when his daughter came to me to ask me whether I would do something, it reminded me of the pleasure I had gotten from these two productions when I was in college. So, I said I admired Eugene Behrman's production of Romeo and Juliet and of Giselle very much for Lucia Chase's Ballet Company that I would be interested in giving a little money toward a production of an opera if it was done by Behrman. Well, after a few negotiations with Mr. Bing, he said that they thought Don Giovanni would be the production they would most like to have Behrman do, as they had already had him do Rigoletto, which is very beautiful. I had never heard the opera Don Giovanni, believe it or not, but I knew it was the greatest opera of Mozart and considered one of the great operas. So, I agreed to give $25,000 toward the production and Mrs. John Barry Ryan raised the rest of it through the Opera Council.

Actually, it opened--and I really think it's one of most beautiful opera productions I've ever seen in my life; it is superbly beautiful, very subtle and lovely.

Now, two years ago I got the idea after having seen Callas in Traviata at the Met, which I felt was very badly produced, that it would be lovely to have a production ofTraviata by Cecil Beaton, who has a talent for that period.



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