A lifelong lover of opera and classical music, the author served 35 years in the US Foreign Service. These memoirs recall his devoted engagement with music, especially opera, in the context of that career.This book recalls the author's devoted engagement with music, especially opera, in the context of his 35-year long career in the US Foreign Service. In these memoirs Hans "Tom" Tuch shares fascinating stories from his Cold War service in Moscow, Sofia, and Berlin, including Vice President Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union in 1959 (and his famous "kitchen debate" with Nikita Khrushchev), the U-2 disaster, and other crises in US-Soviet relations. He also writes about his friendship with Georg Solti in the 1950s, his attendance at the 1949 and 1950 Salzburg Festivals, the 1951 Maggio Musicale in Florence, the 1953 Pablo Casales music festival, and the 1954 Bayreuth Festival. The many opera productions and concert performances he enjoyed in 1950s Europe featured eminent conductors and outstanding vocal artists, among them Wilhelm Fürtwaengler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm, George Szell, Sir John Barbirolli, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Maria Callas, Kirsten Flagstadt, Kathleen Ferrier, Irmgard Seefried, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. In 1952, he was the State Department escort on the Boston Symphony's first postwar European trip. He later escorted the New York Philharmonic on its 1959 tour of the Soviet Union and the New York City Ballet on its 1962 Soviet tour.