Opera: New Go-Go Girl in Town

As a licensed real estate agent in Los Angeles 15 years ago, Shirley Verrett was pretty good at selling houses. Today, she is even better at selling them out. Mezzo-Soprano Verrett last week made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the heroine in Bizet's Carmen. Be fore the night was out, she had men smiling to themselves and women wondering how a flower might look in their teeth.

Verrett's gypsy go-go girl was proud, alluring, pantherlike, intelligent and vocally velvet. Right at the start, in the opening Habanera, she rejected the tradition that makes...

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