Music: New Carmen

As operas go, Carmen, credible in story and neat in tunesmithing, is nearly perfect. But plump divas and paunchy tenors have often flawed it. Last week Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera produced a new gypsy heroine, a slim, long-legged, flaunting quean. The Met's new Carmen, a recruit from the Brussels and Paris operas named Lily Djanel (pronounced John L.), was a bit wobbly in voice, especially in early moments of apparent stage fright. But she proved a plausible charmer, raised many a hair when she read death for herself in the cards.

Soprano Djanel's Carmen was backed up as expertly as a debutante...

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