Music: Fight over Figaro

Not since Hollywood Lyricist Howard Dietz wrote a new English libretto for La Boheme six years ago (Love, rhymed Dietz, "is a feast for a Roman/ It's warming my abdomen") had a Metropolitan Opera production created such a fuss. "Among the finest productions in Bing's regime," wrote Miles Kastendiek in the New York Journal-American. "Non-Mozartean shenanigans," snorted Howard Taubman in the Times, while the Herald Tribune's Paul Henry Lang denounced it as "a travesty." Occasion: a new production, staged by Broadway's Cyril Ritchard, of Mozart's comic masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro.

The musical...

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