Metropolitan Opera Photo
Linked from the Met home page
I just got the sad news that Robert Tuggle, Director of Archives at the Metropolitan Opera since 1982, died yesterday. The Met has a news flash up about this; there are some remembrances of Bob at opera-l and, at Opera Nostalgia, Charles Mintzer has written a memorial as well.
I knew Bob slightly; he was very kind to me when I was actively researching the life and career of Dame Eva Turner, and over the years he'd made some contributions to the accumulated stock of information about her. He traced her career and found 75 performances of Turandot, not the 200 she claimed, for example.
I encountered him first as the author of The Golden Age of Opera, and eventually he signed a copy I gave to a friend of mine. He told me that the bit in the book about the alleged suicide of Claudia Muzio very likely wasn't right; that he had eventually discovered that his source, the Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayao, had not even been in Rome when Muzio died.
He was a lovely man and did an immense amount for opera and the Met, where he worked for nearly his adult life: his decades as archivist were preceded by many years doing education for the Metropolitan Opera Guid. He had been working for a very long time on a biography of Kirsten Flagstad, and like many others I hope it will eventually be published.
RIP, Bob Tuggle. You'll be greatly missed. And deepest condolences to Bob's partner, Paul Jeromack, and to all of Bob's friends and family.