Alan's Blog...It's all Gesamtkunstwerk to me!

Thoughts from nearly 40 years on the professional stage

Charlie Retires

Tonight, at The Metropolitan Opera, a very special era will come to a close. For the past 57 years, we have celebrated the Charlie Anthony era. Charlie (actually, Charles Anthony Caruso) debuted at The Metropolitan Opera 57 years ago and will sing his last performance at The Met this evening as The Emperor in “Turandot”. All who work at The Met have been greatly blessed by this great tenor and friend. I encourage you to check out this link to a wonderful article about Charlie in the online edition of the NY Times:

There is also a video that you can watch of Charlie from a recent backstage interview that he did following the HD Broadcast of “Turnadot”.

Charlie is one of a kind---a real treasure. The history of The Met is so intertwined with his career. He will be greatly missed--but I hope he won’t be a stranger. I wrote a response to the NY Times item and add it here:

I have been so honored to work with so many of the greats in the opera business–Charlie Anthony is right up there at the top of the list. What a treat it is to spend time with Charlie on stage, in the rehearsal rooms, and backstage in the dressing room area. He just simply warms your heart and makes every performance special (and better).
I remember when he sang Borsa in “Rigoletto” and broke the record for most performances at The Met. I was singing Monterone and I couldn’t get over how lucky I was to be on the same stage as him that night. Every instance with Charlie is like getting a history lesson of singing and life at The Metropolitan Opera. And, despite all his history in this wonderful business, he has remained incredibly approachable and just the sweetest guy anyone would ever want to meet.
Charlie is cherished by each artist, stage hand, wardrobe department member, and every body else who has been graced with his incredible smile and spirit. He is truly a Met treasure.
God bless you Charlie!!! Enjoy your Caterpillar Tractor hat and don’t forget to “stop by for tea”.
Alan Held

That final line (“stop by for tea”) is in reference to a line that Charlie always entertained us with during “Die Meistersinger”. Those who have been part of that opera with Charlie will know what I’m talking about.
As I write this, I’m in Munich, Germany for “Salome”---more on that, later. Today is Charlie’s Day.

Added on March 6---these links will take you to a wonderful recording of Philip singing “Comfort Ye/Every Valley” from Messiah and then something a bit sillier from 2008. It gives me great comfort today to hear this sung so wonderfully by such an incredible man and singer.