Opera: The Happy Scrappers

You're a bitchy witch, says he. You're a sniveling coward, says she. Oh yeah, says he, mind your lip or I'll button it permanently. Ha!, says she, you're not man enough.

Or so, in a free translation of the German, it sounded when Walter Berry and his wife Christa Ludwig went at it again last week, snapping and snarling at each other for everyone to hear. And those who did were delighted, for as the villainous Telramund and Ortrud in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Lohengrin, their domestic-quarrel scene was an electric charge in an otherwise static drama. They...

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