Music: Ebb and Flow at the Met

In his wood-lined, spacious office at the Metropolitan Opera, Sir Rudolf Bing last week played out the last days of his 22-year regime as general manager—declining farewell-party invitations, phoning instructions to his staff, checking on arrangements in the auditorium. One flight upstairs, in a cubbyhole barely big enough for one Valkyrie maiden, General Manager-Designate Goeran Gentele of Sweden prepared to take over next September —negotiating union contracts, lining up repertory, auditioning new singers.

So it goes at the Met these days.

The tide of backstage events ebbs in one direction, rises in another....

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