Opera: With One Eye Winking

Charming, schmaltzy, waltz-prone Vienna flips for charming, schmaltzy waltz-prone Leonard Bernstein. In 1966, he conducted a rousing Falstaff at the Staatsoper, and last year he presented Mahler's Second Symphony, in a performance that seemed more authentically Viennese than anything since the days of Bruno Walter. Then, last week, there was Lenny again, preparing to conduct that most Viennese of operas, Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. He professed to be terrified. "Every Vienna taxi driver knows Rosenkavalier as well as he does the national anthem," said Bernstein, adding with a little Viennese exaggeration,...

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