Music: Barber at the Met

In a nameless northern country, in a mansion like a padded hearse, a "lady of great beauty" sat winter after snowy winter waiting for the man she loved. The great gates were barred, the chandeliers were dimmed, and all through the drafty house the mirrors were draped against the reflected evidence of her advancing age.

This faded Victorian dreamscape is the setting of Vanessa, first opera by Symphonist (Adagio for Strings] Samuel Barber and the first new American work produced by the Metropolitan Opera in a decade.*

With last week's opening-night audience, at least, it was...

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