Music: Preposterous Ant

Holding his champagne glass high, the baritone sang a warm and impassioned aria to the health of his mistress-ant. He had scarcely finished when the restaurant proprietor brushed the mistress-ant from tablecloth to floor and stepped on it. The baritone dropped dead, the brasses blazed, and the audience swung into one of the liveliest musical brawls to erupt in Germany in years.

The occasion was a performance of Composer Peter Ronnefeld's four-act opera, The Ant. Spectators at the Düsseldorf Opera seemed to find no middle ground; they were either enraged or entranced by the generally cacophonous score and by the frankly libidinous...

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