Rudolf Bing secretary dies at 87

Rudolf Bing secretary dies at 87


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2020

Marianne Flettner, a German refugee who served as secretary to the Met’s general manager from 1963 to 1974, has died at an advanced age of the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. She must have been around during Bing’s dramas with Maria Callas.

Marianne went on to become artistic administrator at San Diego Opera from 1979 to 2014.




  • David McGill says:

    Bing fired Callas in 1958, I believe. Callas returned to the Met in 1965.

  • phf655 says:

    The firing occurred in 1958. She returned for two performances of Tosca in 1965.

  • Che triste! says:

    Ms.Flettner was a wonderful lady who brought class, calm and grace to every situation. She was certainly smarter than the cretins she served in San Diego.

    • Eulalia Johnson says:

      Just out of curiosity, do you include Capobianco as one those cretins?

      • Che triste! says:

        Did you know him?

        • Eulalia Johnson says:

          Yes, professionally. I found him intellectually robust.

          • Che triste! says:

            I worked with him as well and probably a lot closer than you did. I found him a manipulative opportunist who lived off his laurels and his early collaborations with truly great and talented singers.

          • Eulalia Johnson says:

            It’s interesting to hear your take and undoubtedly you worked closer with him than I did. Our paths crossed late in his life and I did not observe him in interaction with anyone other than myself with the exception of waitstaff–certainly not when he was running opera companies. If you have stories to share without giving your identity away, please do. Since I found him to be well-educated, intelligent and not in any way cretinous, I wrote my first comment because I was curious to know what you knew about him that I did not.

  • Alan says:

    Indeed, she was always a joy to speak with, work with, it was a joy to know her…..

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Here is her obituary notice in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

    She was far more than “Rudolf Bing’s secretary.”