Music: Widow's Night

In Milan last week a premiere for which Italy had waited almost a year came to pass. Nobles, diplomats, artists and high society packed into La Scala to hear singers retell the story of Lucretia's rape, the people's revolt and the eventual founding of the Roman Republic. Composer Ottorino Respighi had made his new opera dovetail scrupulously with Livy's 2,000-year-old account. As usual in his later work he had been sparing with orchestral effects, taken pains that voices should nearly everywhere prevail. Many pronounced Lucrezia the best opera Respighi ever wrote. The audience...

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