Met Opera Guild to Honor Joe Volpe April 20

Classic Arts News   Met Opera Guild to Honor Joe Volpe April 20
The Metropolitan Opera Guild will honor outgoing Met general manager Joseph Volpe at its Annual Membership Luncheon on April 20, the Guild announced.

The event, which takes place at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel at 12:15 p.m., will include a performance by soprano Anna Netrebko, a spoken tribute by soprano Ren_e Fleming, and a screening of highlights from the Met's telecasts during Volpe's tenure.

Among the many singers and other opera figures scheduled to attend are Licia Albanese, Martina Arroyo, Harolyn Blackwell, Dwayne Croft, Anthony Dean Griffey, Hei-Kyung Hong, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Anna Moffo, Patrice Munsel, Tobias Picker, Ren_ Pape, Julius Rudel, and RisêŠ Stevens.

The Met's general manager since 1990, Volpe is the first person to advance to that position from within the company. He began his career at the company as an apprentice carpenter in 1964, and was named master carpenter in 1966, technical director in 1978, and assistant manager in 1981. He is known as a demanding and powerful executive who has dealt unflinchingly with the world's most prominent singers. Perhaps his most talked-about episode came in 1994, when he fired the famously difficult soprano Kathleen Battle, citing her "unprofessional actions."

Former record executive Peter Gelb will officially succeed him on August 1.

Volpe will also be the honoree at a gala performance at the Metropolitan Opera House on May 20.

Tickets to the Met Guild luncheon are $225 and $400. Call 212-769-7009 for more information.

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