I have shamelessly lifted this story from the New York Times. I know it will come as a great shock that there's a gay love story from the world of theater/opera/classical music :-) but this one has a surprise tag at the end that's just wonderful.
Curtain Up on a New Production
Allen Klein, Bliss Hebert
ROSALIE R. RADOMSKY
Published: October 20, 2013
Allen Charles Klein and Bliss Hebert were married Tuesday morning by
James Mitchell, a marriage officiant at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau in
Since 1962, Mr. Klein, an opera scenery and costume designer, and Mr.
Hebert, an opera stage director, have worked together in more than 100
productions. Their credits include Verdi’s “Aida,” at the Cincinnati
Opera in July; Puccini’s “Turandot,” at the Dallas Opera in March; and
Verdi’s “La Traviata,” at the Miami Opera in April and at the Dallas
Opera in 2012.
They also worked on Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann,” starring Plácido
Domingo and Joan Sutherland, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in
1973; Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” featuring the United States debut
of Kiri Te Kanawa, at the Santa Fe Opera in 1972; and “Pelléas and
Mélisande,” at the Santa Fe Opera, with Frederica von Stade’s debut as
Mélisande in 1972.
Mr. Klein (left), 73, created productions for the Vienna State Opera,
Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Fenice in Venice, the Scottish Opera, the
Edinburgh Festival and the Glyndebourne Festival. He graduated from
He is a son of the late Edna Klein and the late Charles Klein, who lived in Brooklyn.
Mr. Hebert, 82, who has been the stage director of 320 productions of
120 operas, was the general manager of the Washington, D.C., Opera
Company from 1960 to 1964, and a founding member of the Santa Fe Opera
Company, where he worked until 1986. From 1957 to 1963 he worked with
Igor Stravinsky on three operas, including five productions of “The
Rake’s Progress.” Mr. Hebert was the prompter for Maria Callas in “La
Traviata” at the Dallas Opera in 1958, and again in Bellini’s “La
Pirata” at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1960. He graduated from
Syracuse, from which he also received a master’s in music focusing on
piano performance. Mr. Hebert is the son of the late Merle Hebert and the late Wilfrid Hebert, who lived in Glens Falls, N.Y.
Though Mr. Klein and Mr. Hebert met in 1962 while working at the
Washington opera and quickly became a couple, it wasn’t until one
evening in 1964 that anyone else brought up their relationship.
Mr. Klein recalled that he and Mr. Hebert had just seen the movie
“Fantasia,” with its classically derived soundtrack, including an
excerpt from Mr. Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” On the way home,
crossing 57th Street in front of Carnegie Hall, they ran into Mr.
Stravinsky; his wife, Vera, and the conductor Robert Craft.
“They all greeted Bliss with great happiness and many kisses,” Mr. Klein
said, adding, “Stravinsky was tiny and glowing with electricity.” Mr.
Hebert immediately introduced Mr. Klein to Mr. Stravinsky.
“I had to speak business with Robert Craft,” Mr. Hebert said, “and Allen
was with Stravinsky alone.” At one point, Mr. Stravinsky took Mr. Klein
by the arm, separating him from the group.
That was when Mr. Stravinsky, in his Russian accent, asked Mr. Klein,
“Tell me, my dear, do you love our Bliss very much?”
“I recall being rather shocked by such a question,” he said. “Remember,
this was 1964. I stuttered out, ‘Yes, I do,’ to which the composer
responded, ‘Well, then, my dear, you must take very good care of our
Mr. Klein added, “ I’ve tried to do that ever since.”
Personal Note: Allen Klein had graduated from the Boston University School of Theater a couple of years before I arrived there to study scenic design. He did some work in the local theater/opera scene before leaving for the wider world. Great things were predicted for him that obviously came true.