Music: Under New Management

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From the general air of benevolent conspiracy, just about everyone backstage at the Metropolitan Opera House knew that a surprise was in the making. Only a few —not including the Met's new General Manager Rudolf Bing—had been told the details. Last week, with a gala New Year's Eve audience settled in their seats for Fledermaus, the Met's bubbliest new production in years (TIME, Jan. 1), Mezzo Rise Stevens uncorked the surprise.

Waving a ludicrous 18-in. cigarette holder in her role of Fledermaus' bored, bemonocled Prince Orlofsky, Mezzo Stevens strutted center stage,...

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