Music: And Now, a Mini-Met

Phaedra, wife of Theseus, spurned and disgraced, twists and writhes in an agony of incestuous love for her stepson Hippolytus. Loosening a white silk sash at her waist, she knots it around her throat, pulls it tight, then falls to the ground in a lifeless swoon, her hair spilling in an orange cloud over her crimson robes. On a balcony overhead, a chorus splits the air with a rising lament—a sort of aural locust swarm—followed by a series of immense, loud gong-tones.

There are a few inappropriate giggles at Manhattan's Lincoln Center, but no matter. The important thing is that French Composer...

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