Music: Big Book, Big Song

No successful opera can su'Ter a theatrically weak book, but a really strong book can be a big problem; it threatens to overpower the music. Last week the New York City Opera presented its second Ford Foundation-supported opera of the season—Cleveland-born Composer Robert Ward's The Crucible, based on Arthur Miller's powerful play (first produced on Broadway in 1953). For the most part, score met text on equal terms, producing that rare and hoped-for result: an opera charged with tension.

The Crucible, built on the Salem witch trials, deals with the conscience of a community stirred to a storm of hatred and terror...

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