Music: Spectacle in Paris

Paris has long been rather bored with opera. Since shortly before World War I, only a few real enthusiasts have been turning up to see the Lohengrin?, and the Pagliaccis sung against dusty backgrounds; the 2,300-seat Paris Opera House has been half empty even on gala ballet nights. But two years ago the management signed a new director, Maurice Lehmann, a man with the outsized imagination of a Cecil B. de Mille; since then, things have been looking up.

Lehmann pinned his hopes to two monster new productions: Rameau's forgotten Les Indes Galantes and Weber's beautiful but silly Oberon. "I wanted to...

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