Sarah Caldwell and John Cunningham: Problem-Solvers

Philippe Rameau helped create the opera Hippolyte et Aricie, which was first performed in Paris in 1733. Audiences loved it; critics did not. Sarah Caldwell wanted to produce the opera in 1966, and she wanted to find the orchestra parts, which she was sure existed, in the Paris Opera, a large part of whose music was not catalogued. She and opera company business manager John Cunningham went to the Paris Opera Library, where they were assured that the music they wanted did not exist. Because Ms. Caldwell was sure that the music existed and was there, Mr. Cunningham romanced with wine and flowers a single lady who worked at the library while Ms. Caldwell looked jealous. Mr. Cunningham got access to the stacks in the library (which were normally closed to members of the general public), and soon he found the music that he and Ms. Caldwell wanted.

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