Perhaps remarkably, someone once called Volpe a charmer. More remarkably still, Volpe complained. Why? Well, he explained, he didn't want anyone to ruin his reputation.
[Volpe made headlines around the world for summarily firing the renowned soprano (and notorious prima donna) Kathleen Battle in 1994 for her failure to attend rehearsals (for Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment) and other "unprofessional actions". (When the cast of the Donizetti opera heard she had been fired, they applauded.)]
[An unlikely impressario, Volpe, before joining the Met as an apprentice stagehand in 1964, opened and ran his own auto repair shop and helped to manufacture baseball pitching machines.]