A second Rosenkavalier farewell at the Met

Amid the ovations for Renée Fleming, who had sung her last Marschallin, musicians in the Met orchestra were saying goodbye with a tear or two to second horn Michelle Reed Baker, who is retiring.

Michelle has been a popular member of the orchestra since 1990.


photo: David Krauss


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  • She will be missed! If you’d like to read more about her, the website metorchestramusicians.org will post an article written about her in the Horn Call (an international horn magazine), in the next week.

  • I will miss much about her: Her wonderful, always sunny disposition, her humor and, of course, her unassailable, beautiful playing. I have had the pleasure of sitting right next to her for so many operas in the last 27 years. I begged her not to retire, but she wouldn’t listen. Three other of our colleagues are also retiring. Duncan Patton, tympanist, Karen Marx, assistant principal second violinist and Michael Ouzounian, principal violist.

  • How is retiring regulated in the Met orchestra? Is there a standard retirement age, no exceptions, or is it negotiated individually?

  • According to her interview in cinema’s Live From the Met on Saturday, Elīna Garanča is also retiring from Rosenkavalier – after 17! years playing Octavian. She was without doubt the star of the performance.

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