Music: Alley-Cat Carmen

"I've never seen a Carmen like this before!" exclaimed one startled dowager. And she was not alone. Before the curtain was down on the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Bizet's passionate masterpiece last week, there was many another exclamation; some were snorts from traditionalists, but most of them were something like "Wow!" The New York Journal-American's headline summed it up: JUST SHORT OF SENSATIONAL.

Mezzo-Soprano Rise Stevens has been singing the role of the wanton gypsy for seven years, but never in such abandoned and sultry fashion as last week. Her new Carmen was a personal triumph—and thoroughly in keeping with the...

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