Music: An Elegant Debut

The Metropolitan Opera has been putting on La Traviata with regular success ever since its first season in 1883.

Like many Verdi operas, it works well enough with the usual bella voce cast tossing forth one hit aria after another.

But as Verdi's venture into what might be called upper-class verismo—he set it in the drawing rooms of his own time—the work cries out for an elegant musical approach and superior acting on the part of the heroine. Both were in ample supply last week. At long last, Conductor Sarah Caldwell (TIME cover, Nov. 10)...

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