This Otello did come on Columbia ML.  Had a light blue and white cover.  I 
don't recall the number.

I think I have their monthly offering leaflets in my files if anyone needs 

Steve Smolian

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 11:15 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Met Opera Record Club

>I neglected to identify David Hamilton as the author of the note telling us 
>that the Met has little claim to those BOMC recordings. Meanwhile, my 
>original questions (apart from RCA issuing a couple of those sets 
>commercially) linger. Were these albums ever sold in stores or issued 
>overseas? There's an "Otello" highlights album with Steber, Vinay and Cleva 
>conducting, on Philips ABL 3005. I have no equivalent Columbia version 
>turning up in Schwann..I wonder if this might have been from the Met 
> dl
>> Mike Richter wrote:
>>> David Lennick wrote:
>>>> What can anyone tell me about the albums produced in the 50s by Book Of 
>>>> The Month as "Metropolitan Opera Record Club"? Were they ever sold in 
>>>> stores, or available only by mail order? Were they issued in the UK or 
>>>> Europe? Were any of them derived from commercial recordings? Are the 
>>>> rights still held by the Met or Book Of The Month?
>>> They were not derived from commercial release but some were released 
>>> commercially by RCA. My understanding is that rights are retained by the 
>>> Met, which has issued a sort of anthology. I was told that they no 
>>> longer had masters or even good copies of the audio in some cases, but 
>>> understand that the digitization - as far as it goes - is quite good.
>>> Mike
>> Here's some of a discussion from December 2005 on this list:
>> Contrary to popular belief, the Met does not own the Metropoliitan Opera 
>> Record Club recordings, nor did they ever hold the masters. The entire 
>> project was carried out under the auspices of the Book of the Month Club, 
>> working with Columbia and RCA (the matrix numbers reveal which company 
>> did the engineering and pressing). The "Metropolitan Opera Record Club" 
>> was a b brand name for BOMC. The Met merely lent its name (for a 
>> consideration) and BOMC was supposed to use Met performers (they began 
>> near the bottom of the barrel, then discovered that names DID make the 
>> recordings sell better. RCA later arranged with the BOMC to issue the 
>> Périchole and the abridged Boris sung in English (in Karel Rathaus's 
>> "realization" of Mussorgsky's orchestration), which they had recorded, on 
>> RCA retail discs (IIRC, Bing complained in his memoirs that the Met got 
>> none of the money from that.) Last I heard, nobody seems to know where 
>> the masters are. And, AFAIK, all Met Opera Guild CD tracks drawn from 
>> that series have been dubbed from LPs.
>> David
>> At 06:30 PM 12/9/2005, you wrote:
>>     Mike Richter wrote:
>>     > All the usual market forces would ensure that prices were 
>> remarkably low
>>     > if not for the absurd extension of copyright to ensure that the
>>     > corporations holding rights to decades-old material maintained 
>> their
>>     > monopoly. Since they are remiss in reissues of any but the most 
>> popular
>>     > material and unwilling to allow others to do so (with exceptions 
>> such as
>>     > Testament), they are destroying the heritage through malign 
>> neglect.
>>     >
>>     > Let me cite one instance. In the 1950s, the Metropolitan Opera 
>> Record
>>     > Club issued a series of recordings using featured singers and 
>> conductors
>>     > who are otherwise almost undocumented. The Met holds the copyright 
>> and
>>     > zealously defends it, though I am told on good authority that they 
>> not
>>     > only have lost the masters but no longer even have good copies of 
>> many
>>     > of the issued LPs. So Kirsten's Tosca, Tucker's Lenski and 
>> Mitropoulos's
>>     > (abridged) Walkuere are little more than rumors in terms of legal 
>> issues.
>>     >
>>     > Mike
>>     And those discs are coming close to the 50-year mark, if we can just 
>> hold back
>>     the copyright extensions for a couple of years......Canada isn't 
>> going to change
>>     for quite a while yet, incidentally, since there'd barely been 
>> anything proposed
>>     and our Parliament is now in election mode till the end of January.
>>     And I have near mint copies of many of those Met sets.
>>     dl
> -- 
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.26/748 - Release Date: 4/5/2007 
> 3:33 PM