Music: Lucretia in Chicago

When his first opera, Peter Grimes, got its U.S. premiere last year at the Berkshire Music Festival, Britain's bright young Benjamin Britten complained: "There is no use pretending it was a professional performance, but for students it was extremely good."

This week The Rape of Lucretia, the second opera from Composer Britten's one-a-year production line,* got a professional U.S. premiere from Chicago's vigorous young Opera Theater. Chicago, in turn, got what was, by the current depressed standards of opera-writing, a bang-up opera. Like the British, who first applauded The Rape a year ago, the audience in Chicago's Shubert Theatre found that homely,...

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