Music: Beethoven in the Bush

The gimcrack stage tilted tipsily toward the footlights, and gusts of damp winter air surged from the wings. The piano plunked like a loosely strung mandolin. But the audience listened to the big, barrel-chested baritone with the rapt concentration of buffs at the Metropolitan Opera. They stomped lusty approval of arias from Tannhäuser and The Barber of Seville, art songs by Delibes and Debussy, lieder by Karl Loewe and Schubert.

The artist was U.S. Negro Baritone William Warfield. The place was the rough-hewn farming community of Warwick (pop. 10,000) in the Australian bush....

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