Music: Curtain Going Up

In the regime of Rudolf Bing, Metropolitan Opera fans have come to take handsome new productions for granted. Last week, determined not to disappoint, Bing & Co. were putting the last loving touches to one of their most ambitious projects yet: a completely restyled version of Verdi's 90-year-old La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny).

Forza had not been sung at the Met in eight years, and there were good reasons. Even among Italian operas, the plot is a wildly improbable one, and the whole opera runs for 3½ hours. Yet it has one...

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