Music: Again, Pelldas

In Grand Opera, most heroes and heroines, ample of brisket and bosom, love and suffer loudly and straightforwardly. When the tenor and soprano get in one of their deplorable, inevitable fixes, they inevitably thrash their arms, square off at high Cs. Not so the hero and heroine of Pelleas et Mélisande, Achille-Claude Debussy's 40-year-old opera (his only completed one) based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck. Laid in "an unknown land" in a vaguely medieval time, Pelleas is elusive, dreamy, half-said, half-unsaid. Of all her troubles, Mélisande never says anything more complaining than:...

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