Music: Opera in the Black

A short, grey-moustached man stood, looking pleased, behind the standees in Manhattan's spacious, echoey Center Theater, and watched the red velours curtains close in front of the shadowy vault scene of Verdi's Aïda. He had a right to be pleased. For the 150 members of his troupe, it was merely the last perform-ance of another season, but for Fortune Gallo it was a milestone. His San Carlo Opera Company had wound up its 30th season, giving the U.S. public opera at popular prices, and without deficits.

In a world where opera is looked on...

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