Music: Golden Age

Two singers sang two arias at the Met last week and suddenly made clear that, vocally, opera is in the midst of a new golden age. Soprano Leontyne Price, in Aïda, sang the famous O patria mia with such velvety beauty, such abundance of power, that she overshadowed most other recent Aïdas. Later in the same week, Birgit Nilsson sang Turandot's climactic scene in a way that will be remembered for years as the fulfillment of the opera's own description of its heroine: "Fire and ice." If two such performances can happen within...

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