Music: Verdi & the Lady

Not in a decade or more had Manhattan's cavernous Metropolitan Opera House buzzed so busily to get ready for opening night. And not in as many years had so much dust been shaken from Met tradition.

The Met's new general manager, Rudolf Bing, had promised in his first press conference (TIME, Feb. 6) that he was going to try to "adapt [the Met's] policy to changing times." In one of his first swings of the dust mop, Rudi Bing set out to improve "the visual aspect of operatic affairs"—i.e., make Met performances a pleasure to watch as well as to hear.

Henceforth, Bing...

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