An anecdote-filled behind-the-scenes look at more than forty years of the highlights, successes, and day-to-day inner workings--productions, divas, and backstage dramas--of New York's Metropolitan Opera House, by Joseph Volpe, the only general manager to have risen through the ranks. This book is the story of Volpe's years leading up to the Met, from his first big job as a stagehand at the Morosco Theater to the odd jobs he picked up moonlighting. It is his Met years--from apprentice carpenter to general manager--that tell about New York and the business of culture. Volpe looks at the Met today, an institution of vast egos and complicated politics, as well as its glittering past. He writes about the general managers he worked under; his own embattled rise to the top; his bad-cop, good-cop collaboration with conductor James Levine; and making a family of highly charged artist-stars and visionary directors.--From publisher description.