Josef Krips, a vain but capable musician, is a man pursued by governments.

Because he is half-Jewish, he fled Vienna in 1937 before the Nazis stomped in, conducted in Belgrade until the Nazis overran Yugoslavia, went back to Vienna as a factory worker.

After the Russians took Vienna, when no other non-Nazi conductor was available, his fortunes rose. To Krips, in April 1945, the Russians sent an order: "There will be a State Opera performance by May 1st or there will be no State Opera." Krips obliged the U.S.S.R. with Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, despite such handicaps as the fact that...

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