Music: Three Kings in 50 Minutes

Gian-Carlo Menotti believes that "any subject is good for opera if the composer feels it so intensely he must sing it out." Standing before Hieronymous Bosch's The Adoration of the Magi one day in Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Menotti felt the old intensity welling up inside. He found himself thinking about miracles of faith, and of his own childhood lameness which was cured—miraculously, he believes—when he was four. As he stood there, he knew he had the subject for his seventh opera.

This week a Christmas Eve audience watched the world premiere of...

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