Music: Maestro in New England

For an opera about conspiracy and murder in colonial Boston, Giuseppi Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) has had small success in the U.S. But there are those who love it, and among them is Arturo Toscanini.* Months ago he made up his mind to conduct it again for an American audience (last time: at the Metropolitan Opera in 1915), and began restudying the score.

At 86, and perhaps a bit tired from bouts with illness this season, Toscanini made a change in his routine for the opera. Most of the piano rehearsals with the soloists took place in his...

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