Music: Fragrant Cheddar

For its 65th opening night, the Metropolitan Opera hoped that "much of the glitter generally associated with the first-night audience [would] be secondary to that on the stage." General Manager Edward Johnson had scheduled an opener that was hard to beat: the late Richard Strauss's sure-fire Der Rosenkavalier, with a cast of "unusual interest," directed by the Met's most brilliant conductor, Fritz Reiner. But last week, when the great night rolled around again, the off stage competition was as usual just too tough.

"Society," raved one social chronicler, "staged a magnificent comeback, with blazing jewels and gorgeous gowns." It turned out to...

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