Opera: Midas Across the Wall

Both Berlins were absorbed in competing culture festivals last week — alien celebrations of the arts, one on each side of the Wall. West Berlin had invited three symphony orchestras to help spotlight the inauguration of its new, $4,000,000 Philharmonic Hall, and East Berlin had theatrical troupes from Moscow and Prague in town to play alongside its own Berliner Ensemble.

But nothing in either Berlin could quite compare with the Komische Oper, perhaps the world's best lyric opera company and East Berlin's finest cultural ornament. In an atmosphere where the culture bullets really sting, the East's operatic triumph had one...

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