Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
20 June 1944
The operatic program has just now finished and, Aunty Clara, we have never, in all my Army life, been presented with such perfect and such professional entertainment. And never in all the programs which I have seen presented before a group of soldiers was there such wholesome enthusiasm and appreciation by both the audience and the performers themselves. In reward for the wonderful reception the entertainers received, they extended themselves to sing encore after encore until they had exhausted their entire repertoire. Our stage and theater area was unique to them and they complimented the entire audience on the fine setting provided for their little show.
I may not get all the names correctly but I'll try to list them as I remember them. The Master of Ceremonies was a tenor from the Metropolitan Opera Company, as were all of the members of the unit. Here they are: FREDERICK JAGEL, Tenor, Leading Tenor, Metropolitan Opera Company; POLYNA STOSCA, Soprano, Concert Stage Guest Soloist; ROBERT WEED, Baritone, Star of Radio City, Metropolitan; ISAAC STERN, Violinist, Guest Soloist with Major Symphony Orchestras; ALEXANDER ZAKIN, Pianist, European and American Concert Star. I don't know who they are, or what they are, or if they may be who they claim to be, but after hearing them this evening, I can say that if they aren't the best group of similar entertainers I have ever heard, there aren't any better than them.
Frankly, it is amazing that they should have received such an ovation number after number until they could go no further. Everyone who returned from the show had hands that looked as if they had been catching a baseball without a mitt. They even were humorous to boot and not one word or action was out of place. The performance began at eight-thirty for they first had to go to the other outfit as I told you in a previous letter. From the reports of the ones who took that show in, we received twice as much time and gave them four times as much applause with half the number of men.
I could hardly go into a description of the various numbers they went thru or how well they sang them but I can mention a few highlights. Mr. Jagel (they really are all commissioned in the Army but that is just for touring purposes and they themselves do not refer to their temporary rank of Lieutenant) sang a number of lighter, semi-classical numbers and then said since he is usually asked to prove he came from the Met, he has a number prepared for that and it was Pagliacci. The girl came out next and, guess what, Bethseme Mucho was one of her numbers. The violinist cracked a good joke about Jack Benny just preceding "The Flight of the Bumblebee". The baritone highlighted his group of songs with "On the Road to Mandalay". There then followed a few duets and a solo of "Blue Rhapsody" by the pianist.
The piano player was the most over-worked man in the outfit and they admitted it too for he was in accompaniment for every single number on the program.
Incidentally, they are called a "Pioneer Concert Unit" for this is their first stop at any overseas base and they were still in the experimental stage as to how it would go over. After tonight, there should be no question about it.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman