Music: Surprise at Schwetzingen

As the thunder of a spring storm crackled overhead, opera buffs from all Europe converged on lushly landscaped Schwetzingen Castle, in the heart of the Rhineland. They crossed the moat, crowded through the rococo entrance gallery, sat down in the gilded 18th century theater and waited to be shocked. The program that promised so much musical surprise: the latest work by the controversial Wunderkind of modern opera, German-born Hans Werner Henze, 34, whose cherubic face and businesslike manner disguise a talent for brazen dissonance, eerie melody and phantasmagorical plots. For good measure, the...

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