Music: The Singing Greeks

When he was 14, Playwright Thornton Wilder knew his life's ambition. He wanted to be a composer of operas. He never quite made it, but 50 years later, at 64, Wilder is becoming a handy man-about-the-opera-house: his one-act play The Long Christmas Dinner recently provided the libretto for an opera by Composer Paul Hindemith (TIME, Dec. 29). Now his play The Alcestiad has furnished the Frankfurt Opera with an engaging and unexpected hit of the same name.

The composer is Louise Talma, 55, a longtime teacher of composition at New York City's Hunter College, who is well regarded for her small...

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