Joseph Volpe started at the Metropolitan Opera House as an apprentice carpenter 42 years ago, and rose to become its General Manager in 1990. Stephanie Hughes introduces part one of a star-studded Gala Concert from the Met to celebrate his career, and mark his retirement in June.
The surprise programme of arias, duets and ensembles will include performances by many of the singers who have made their careers on the Met's famous stage - including sopranos Renée Fleming, Mirella Freni, Karita Mattila and Kiri Te Kanawa; mezzo-sopranos Olga Borodina, Susan Graham, Waltraud Meier and Frederica von Stade; tenors Plácido Domingo, Juan Diego Flórez, Ben Heppner and Ramón Vargas; baritones Dwayne Croft, Thomas Hampson and Dmitri Hvorostovsky; basses James Morris, René Pape and Samuel Ramey.
The company's principal guest conductor, Valery Gergiev, and Marco Armiliato, James Conlon, and Patrick Summers direct the artists, orchestra and chorus of the Metropolitan Opera.
Part 2 of the celebration can be heard in Sunday Gala at 2.00pm on May 28.