Opera: Swatches & Splashes

Luigi Nono is a gentle man — until provoked. Then, he says, he writes music. Provoked by "neo-Nazism," the "Algerian struggle for liberty" and racial discrimination, among other things, he composed Intolleranza 1960, an opera of social protest that has done some wholesale provoking of its own. Its première in Venice four years ago was interrupted by a hail of stink bombs from the gallery and cries of "This opera makes me sick!" Nono's followers shouted back "Cretins!" "Dirty Fascists!" in a riotous uproar that even for Italy was, as one critic...

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