Music: Opera's New Face

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On stage, the beefy Wagnerian gods of Gotterdämmerung snorted and bellowed in their Valhalla. In the wings, a huge Siegfried, mounted on a ladder, sagged his 230 Ibs. down onto waiting shoulders to be borne on stage. "I'm getting too fat for this," grumbled hefty Heldentenor Lauritz Melchior. A warrior-god charged into musty corners, looking for his sword; bored spear carriers fumbled through a prop basket full of hunting horns. Behind the backdrop a ragged army of stagehands lounged on the rocks of the Rhine (out of use for the moment), gulping...

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