Music: Where Is Santa Fe?

"There is no opera in America worth speaking of outside New York City," Met Manager Rudolf Bing was quoted as saying in an interview last week. The only exceptions he conceded: Chicago and San Francisco. But even they, he felt, do not have long enough seasons or sufficient facilities to bring them up to the level of the Met or the best European houses.

Such fighting words propelled Bing into the kind of operatic hassle usually reserved for prima donnas. San Francisco's Vienna-born Kurt Herbert Adler tore into Vienna-born Rudi Bing, pointed out that the...