Music: Farewell to a Queen

By 8:30 a.m., eleven hours before the box office opened, hopeful standees began queueing up outside the Metropolitan Opera House. Minutes before curtain time, even habitual latecomers were settled in their boxes and reserved seats. The high spot of the music week in Manhattan was Soprano Kirsten Flagstad's farewell to the Met.

There were five curtain calls after Alcestis' first act, five more after the second. At the opera's end, the rest of the cast got their due (two curtain calls). Then the audience stood as one man and gave Soprano Flagstad ten more....

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