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In House: Covent Garden [Hardcover]

Placido Domingo , John Tooley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Nov 1999
A frank account of the inner workings of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, written by the man who was its General Director from 1980-88. The years under Tooley are generally viewed as a golden era; and a stark contrast to the unhappy times for management and staff which ensued.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (6 Nov 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057119415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571194155
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 982,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Nobody could have been better placed for charting the tumultuous ups and downs of the Royal Opera House since the World War II than Sir John Tooley. He first joined the staff in 1955 as an assistant to Sir David Webster and from 1970 to 1988 he was General Director. Since then he has witnessed the sad decline of one of the greatest houses in the world, which in its heyday could attract the likes of Callas, Placido Domingo, Carlos Kleiber and Rudolf Nureyev. Nowadays, relations between management and staff seem to be permanently at breaking point, funding is a constant nightmare and it has even teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and outright closure. Not all is doom and gloom, however. The story is liberally sprinkled with some fine anecdotes. I particularly liked the one in which Sir John describes himself as trapped at a dinner party between Lady Thatcher and the Duke of Norfolk, the latter intent, so it seems, on being as mischievous and provocative as possible on the subject of arts funding. Although definitely a book for aficionados only, rather than of wide general interest, this is a fascinating and quietly impassioned history of one of our greatest cultural institutions. --Christopher Hart

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars In House: Covent Garden 31 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good book, even though well past its "birth" date still interesting to read and gives good picture of the trials and tribulations of running an Opera House.
The book arrived, well wrapped and was delivered quickly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 Aug 2014
Format:Hardcover
An often candid book on the workings and machinations of Covent Garden
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