Music: Opera's Grand Trouper

The opera performed at the Metropolitan that evening was Verdi's Falstaff, with an unknown "cover" singer filling in for the ailing Spanish Baritone Vincente Bal-lester in the role of the wealthy burgher Ford. In the second act Ford sang his famous monologue E sogne? a realta? and shortly made his exit. As the orchestra launched into the music of the act's second scene, the audience began chanting an unfamiliar name: "Tibbett! Tibbett! Tib-bett!" Conductor Tullio Serafin waved his orchestra to silence and through the gold curtain stepped a slim young man with a...

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