Mountain Music

There has not been a first-rate and popular opera written since Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier in 1911.* There have even been few good tries (Deems Taylor's Peter Ibbetson, two by Gian-Carlo Menotti). Last week U.S. critics got a first look and listen to a year-old English opera, Peter Grimes. They almost unanimously hailed frail, 32-year-old Benjamin Britten as the most promising operatic composer of the day.

Britten's Peter Grimes, first produced in London in June 1945, had already been sung in Swedish in Stockholm, in Flemish in Antwerp, in German in Basel and...

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