Music: Knitter's Debut

Out of its big old-fashioned sleeve Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera Company drew a surprise one afternoon last week: a Wagnerian soprano who was neither fat nor 40 but a young woman of grace with a strong clear voice in its prime. The new singer was Kirsten Flagstad, a Norwegian who knows how to milk a cow and ski. As Sieglinde in Die Walkure she made the season's outstanding debut.

Stiffer tests will come when Madame Flagstad sings Isolde and Brünnhilde, the big heroic roles for which she was chiefly imported. But she is approaching the...