Opera: A Banal Savage

The critics were downright disgusted when Gian Carlo Menotti's new opera buffa was first performed in Paris last October. Le Dernier Sauvage had a libretto the French found far from funny, and its music they found distressingly short on substance. "A misery," said Le Figaro. But the Paris production was starved and skimpy, and Menotti's countless champions comforted themselves in the faith that The Last Savage would find a happier habitat in New York. Last week the Savage arrived at the Met in a production so beautiful that Menotti cheerfully conceded he...

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