Music: Monster of Ice and Ennui

"Poor 300-year-old beauty! People took her for a thief, for a liar, for a heartless animal. They called her beast, slut, they wanted to strangle her. And her fault? That she was doomed to live too long a time. I was sorry for her."

—Leoš Janáček (1925)

Most operas concentrate on the obvious: love (usually thwarted), murder, political connivery. Not those by Czech Composer Janáček (TIME, Dec. 5, 1969), who had a taste for fantasy and the mysterious. Moreover, in The Makopoulos Affair, completed in 1925 three years before his death, the composer created an opera that offers no arias, no immediately whistleable...

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