Music: Opera: Si or No

Nobody had ever bothered to ask the ultraconservative audience at Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera House what language they thought opera should be sung in. What a question! Operas are given there as they are written, in French, German, Italian. But last week the Metropolitan Opera Guild collected a jury in its famed red-and-gold interior. Critic Olin Downes argued for opera in the composer's language. Ex-Prima Donna Florence Easton pleaded for translation into the audience's tongue. Metropolitan Stars John Brownlee and John Carter sang parts of Rossini's good-humored The Barber of Seville, first in Italian (hushed attention), then in English (ripples of laughter)....

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