George Lascelles, the seventh Earl of Harewood, died recently at the age of 88. He had been prominent as an arts administrator and opera authority for more than 50 years. In the early 1950s he was the editor of Opera, and shortly after that he became the director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He edited Kobbe's Complete Opera Book and wrote an insightful memoir called The Tongs and the Bones. In this book he tells a wonderful story about trying to get Karajan for the Edinburgh Festival. The story confirms the Great Man's legendary arrogance in painstaking detail. Of course, it all depends on which side of the fence one is standing. Lord Harewood too had a strong sense of his own importance.
Lord Harewood was a close friend of Maria Callas and in 1968 he undertook a series of interviews with her for EMI. Here is an excerpt.
Paul E. Robinson
Labels: George Lascelles, Maria Callas, Music and Words, Opera