Rise Stevens sang lovely old carols and hymns and recalled her teenage years when she sang in church choirs to pay for the voice lessons and the musical education that were to translate the dreams of the Bronx girl into the reality of Metropolitan Opera and international stardom.
Fred Heider, formerly producer of The Voice of Firestone Show will move over as executive producer of ABC-TV's Music For A Summer Night, a musical show which will replace the ABC-TV Wednesday night The Lawrence Welk Show on June 3rd, 1959.
Mezzo-soprano Mildred Miller has made her most memorable appearances at the Metropolitan playing boys' roles. In fact, one year all but one of her roles were that of a boy. That year, she said the other day, she returned home after appearing in a boys' role and destroyed all of her slacks in angry frustration. "It's so much more feminine to play the part of a woman". said Miss Miller. Her most complicated role has been that of Octavian in "Der Rosenkavalier". In most of the opera, she plays the part of a boy, but in one act she plays a boy dressed up as a girl trying to look like a boy.
Rosalind Elias, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the youngest of 13 children, Miss Elias followed high school with serious music study at the New England Conservatory, scholarships at Tanglewood, a year of study and performance in Italy, a contract with the Metropolitan and her debut in "Die Walkure." Last season she became the focus for critical bravos for her singing and acting of the pivotal role of Erika in the new American Opera, "Vanessa".
Barbara Gibson who was originally to guest, was to sing "Stars in My Eyes", "Quel Guardo Il Cavaliers", "Swiss Echo Song" and "Ciribiribin". Her program was to include works of Kreisler, Eckart and Pestalozza.
Firestone got mad and pulled out of NBC when the network took away its regular time-slot and tried to move it to another hour.
At Shoppingtown in DeWitt (New York) a mass color TV demonstration was set up especially for this show and for the public. Several sets were arranged for the shoppers so that the colorcast may be seen by as many people possible.
The first conductor of The Voice of Firestone was Hugo Mariani and now, six conductors later, Howard Barlow is directing the orchestra. Edwin Dunham has been radio producer of the show 17 years and Charles Polacheck is the TV producer. Hugh James is announcer.
In November 1950, the 20-year old soprano caused a sensation when she took over Nadine Conner's role in "Don Giovanni's" at the Metropolitan Opera House She had never before been on the "Met's", stage Roberta Peters and she had never rehearsed the role with full orchestra.
Elizabeth Firestone wrote the music for Robert Montgomery's film Once More, My Darling.