Music: Erskine Opera

More than seven years ago, sardonic, leather-faced John Erskine, then president of Manhattan's opulent Juilliard School of Music, remarked that he saw no future in opera "as it is imported from Europe and produced . . . in the big American opera houses." Mr. Erskine craved librettos that could be heard "without the listener losing his self-respect."

Of the five operas by U. S. composers since presented in the cozy, elegant Concert Hall of the Juilliard School, three have had librettos by ex-President Erskine. The first, Jack & the Beanstalk (music by Louis...

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