Music: Happy Heroine

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Opening night at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera is an established American ritual. Everybody understands that the cast furnishes half the show and the audience the rest, and that polite ones on either side should not impinge on the other's act.

Next week the heavy oak doors will swing open on the Met's 62nd season. Out front there will be strapless gowns in the boxes, and straphangers in the gallery; backstage there will be extras in armor, seamstresses in a hurry and props in the way. A good many of the fur-wrapped natives in...

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