Music: OPERA: Conductor Herbert von Karajan

Total Conductor

Richard Wagner conceived his Ring des Nibelungen as combining voice, orchestra, acting and settings into a perfect expressive unity, a "total artwork." That phrase could very nearly describe Austrian-born Herbert von Karajan. At 59, Von Karajan not only is the world's foremost conductor but concerns himself with every aspect of his epic productions, including direction, stage design, lighting. Head of the Berlin Philharmonic, director of the Easter and summer festivals at Salzburg, Von Karajan last week added the Metropolitan Opera to his realm by conducting and staging Die Walküre,...

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