Music: Isolde's Return

In a third-floor lounge of the Metropolitan Opera House one morning last week, 40 members of the Met chorus were taking a rehearsal break when a large, pink-cheeked woman passed their open door. Was it? Yes, it was. Choristers called out an impromptu greeting: "Welcome back, Madame Flagstad!"

Soprano Kirsten Flagstad was indeed back at the Met for the first time in ten years, for the first time since she left it in 1941 to join her husband in occupied Norway. The salute of the Met choristers was only a small part of the welcome.

Letters have been coming to her from friends...

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