Music: Troubled Opera

In his 53 years, William Grant Still has had as much success with his symphonies, symphonic poems, ballets and chamber works as other U.S. composers (TIME, June 7) and certainly more than any other Negro composer. Nonetheless, he felt there was one unresolved dissonance. "All my life," says he, "my aim has been opera."

For twelve years, sometimes collaborating with his writer wife, Verna Arvey ("she takes over where I fail to function"), he has toiled away on the composition of seven operas. A slight, sloe-eyed man whose hobby is turning out toys for his two children, he even fashioned miniature sets...

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