Music: Henry James in Song

"The idea, reduced to its essence, is that of a young person conscious of a great capacity for life, but early stricken and doomed, condemned to die under short respite." Thus Henry James tried to cut through the psychological brambles of his own Wings of the Dove. Last week Manhattan operagoers saw an attempt to render the Jamesian complexities in song: the New York City Opera première of Composer Douglas Moore's The Wings of the Dove.

The novel gets much of its quality from the convoluted Jamesian style, which is hardly suited to song....

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