Music: Debutantes' Thrills

While socialites donned their stuffed shirts and tiaras for the opening sessions of Manhattan's new opera season (see above), five of the season's 14 singer-debutantes lathered themselves with greasepaint for their first appearances on the Western Hemisphere's most celebrated stage. To dowdy singers who have already appeared on other famous stages, debuts still rate second only to the Christian sacraments.

Before the opening performance buxom Neapolitan Soprano Maria Caniglia was found crawling about the Met's splintery stage in search of bent nails. Reason: An old Neapolitan superstition that bent nails mean luck. She...

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