Music: Tristan and Cinderella

The obscure opera singer is kneeling on the floor of a small apartment in Munich. Before her lie cloth and scissors. She is making her own costume for another night's work in another small town. Suddenly, word arrives that in Manhattan the fabled Metropolitan Opera desperately needs a soprano in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Off goes our heroine in her Lufthansa pumpkin and lands the job. The audiences love her. So do the critics. The New York Times announces on Page One: "A triumph at the Met."

If there is a fairy tale to...

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