Music: Lennie at La Scala

Conductor Leonard Bernstein was in a swivet. Traveling in Italy, he had agreed to conduct a regular performance of Milan's proud La Scala opera, a thing which no American had ever done before. He had five days in which to learn the score—Luigi Cherubini's Medea—but he had never conducted grand opera in his life and never even heard of Cherubini's Medea. To make things worse, he had a case of bronchitis. Finally, the score with which he had to work dated from 1797, and, like most old books, it gave off dust —to which Bernstein is allergic.

Nevertheless, the rehearsals went...

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