Music: Struggle for Power

Within the span of two brief seasons, Chicago's Lyric Theater, a nonprofit corporation organized to present grand opera, managed to restore much of the splendor and prestige of the old days of Mary Garden and Samuel Insull. Night after winter night, the huge Civic Opera House was sibilant with mink and sables while the stage vibrated under the temperaments of the highest-priced stars in the operatic firmament, e.g., Maria Meneghini Callas, Renata Tebaldi. Opera lovers began to think that the Lyric group might succeed where others had failed.

But the mixture of big money and priceless glamour makes tricky chemistry. Last February...

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