Music: Basso Cantante

A tall, brawny Italian with a conspirator's felt hat last week kissed his wife good-by in suburban Mamaroneck, swung behind the wheel of a Clipper model Packard and drove to Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera House. There he encased himself in the beard and trappings of an ancient czar. Exactly one hour after his arrival, Ezio Pinza, with a regal bearing that scattered stagehands right & left, stubbed out the butt of a lighted cigaret and strode through the wings as Boris Godunoff.

Ezio was playing Boris for the 50th time. For him, every groan and...

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