Opera: Flowery Flute

Artist Marc Chagall believes in "God, Mozart and color." The Metropolitan Opera's Rudolf Bing believes in Mozart, Chagall and boxoffice. Thus, when the Met scheduled a new production of The Magic Flute, it seemed only right that the 79-year-old Chagall should design the sets and costumes. No matter that he had never before tried his hand at opera; The Magic Flute is fantasy, and in that misty, mystical medium Chagall is the original beautiful dreamer. "He is so very right for it," said Bing.

But Bing was so very wrong. There are two...

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