The ""gal Friday"" of the Met tells the backstage story of the famous opera house with affection, sugar and spice. Her job began in ""technical"" but soon after her introduction to lighting and hanging plots, time schedules and props, she crossed the paint bridge to the executive side of the organization as Ziegler's secretary. She tells of music and opera procedures but spends most of her time on people, from stage hands to stars. The Gaill Gaill courtship, the stars' battles over dressing rooms, the glamour girls Swarthout, Moore, Pons, Stevens, Novotna, etc. -- and the Don Juans (headed by Pinza), these are followed by the story of Marion Talley, (a great career made and broken by the critics), rivalries, the greats of the secondary role, parties like the one Flagstad gave for the whole Met staff, misunderstandings or demands on the parts of the performers. And the famous ones of the times -- the beloved Farrar, Jeritza with her stage business, the great Callapin, Ponsell on to Traubel -- add to the allure of an honest, knowledgeable behind the footlights view of a well- loved music center.