Music: Luciano's Back in Town

In a slow opera and a socko recital

There's more pomp than circumstance in Donizetti's La Favorita. There is no onstage action in the opera, and the plot moves with godlike indolence. In the last century it was popular because of its pretty, skillfully written melodies and because 19th century audiences rather liked a long evening in the theater.

In this era it seems a waste for Luciano Pavarotti to undertake such a vehicle, as he did last week at New York City's Metropolitan Opera. The commanding tenor today, he can do a great many things wonderfully well. Some of them, like spinning...

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