I just posted the same thing, more or less. Sorry that I didn't see your post first.
I didn't remember him specifically saying that he first saw it as an adolescent, although he probably did. He probably either saw the 1942 revival or one of its return runs in 1943 and 1944. He certainly saw the 1953 revival because he has mentioned Leontyne Price's performance but he was no longer an adolescent by then. :)