Music: Giant at Home

Salzburg conservatives clucked over this year's changes. At the festival where Mozart and the 18th century had once reigned sovereign, this year a 19th century Italian opera (Verdi's Don Carlos) had opened the season—with a nearly all-Italian cast. There was even a 20th century opera by, um Gottes willen, an American (Samuel Barber's Vanessa, which was cheered by the audience, panned by the critics). Although no one in easygoing Salzburg cared to estimate how long it would take, work had even begun on the long-needed new Festspielhaus. Symbol of these innovations was a...