Famed British 20th century orchestra conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was attending a performance of Puccini’s opera ‘Aida’ in London, a lavish affair with majestic sets and a large complement of singers, including at one point, elephants being brought on to the stage. In this performance one of the animals defecated on stage. Beecham, a great wit, turned to his companion and said … what?

Answer: ‘Terrible stage manners. But what a critic!’

Source: Beecham Stories: Anecdotes, Sayings and Impressions of Sir Thomas Beecham by Sir Thomas Beecham (compiled by Atkins and Newman); General Historical Texts

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