Music: Pabst's Blue Ribbon

To mark the 100th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, the city of Verona mounted a production of Aïda in its local amphitheater that was hard to forget: the 138-ft.-wide stage was filled with more than 1,000 singers and actors, not to mention ten horses and a cow. That was 40 years ago. More recently, Veronese have noted with pique that Rome's summer opera, in the huge old ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, have been serving up Aïda on a 167-ft. stage replete with camels, ancient obelisks and, for a finale, a burst of...

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