Music: Goulash Without Paprika

The Metropolitan Opera likes to keep one or two operettas in its repertory, if only for purposes of New Year's Eve entertainment. In the past, Manager Rudolf Bing has done well with Strauss's Die Fledermaus and Offenbach's La Péri-chole. Last week the Met unveiled a dazzling production of another Strauss operetta, The Gypsy Baron. While it might please properly champagned New Year's Eve audiences, the Met's Gypsy is more than half a failure for ordinary, year-round consumption.

On the credit side, and almost worth the price of admission, is Johann Strauss's delightful score, notably the famed Treasure Waltz, a melting Act II...

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