Music: A Sensuous, New Tannh

Snuggling up to Venus and paying for it

Richard Wagner has not been particularly well served at the Metropolitan Opera in recent seasons. One reason, to give the Met the benefit of the doubt, is that neither Tristan und Isolde nor the Ring cycle makes much sense without Heldensoprano Birgit Nilsson, who has been away from the U.S. for several seasons and gives no sign of returning. Last week the Met considerably shored up its Wagnerian wing with a new production of Tannhäuser that was spectacular to behold, breathtaking (with one major exception) to hear and immensely satisfying in the way it...

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