German currency is worth almost nothing yet $12 in American money was paid for good seats at the National Opera in Berlin when Mattia Battistini, the famous Italian baritone, now over 60, made his only appearance of the season. He sang the role of Scarpia in Tosca.
Battistini, said to be the only surviving exponent of the purest bel canto, has never let the American dollar lure him across the Atlantic. The reason is that he has a mortal fear of seasickness.
John Gay's The Beggar's Opera closed in London. It...