Music: Opera Englished

In many-tongued Europe opera is usually sung in the language of the country where it is performed. In France Pagliacci becomes Paillasse, in Germany Bajazzo. But Americans, like Englishmen, take their opera neat, and often swallow an entire performance without understanding more than a few words.

When in 1928 Jules Falk, a Philadelphia musician, proposed a summer season of translated opera at Atlantic City's Steel Pier, the Pier's President, Frank Gravatt, was leery of it. But Director Falk went ahead with his plan, put on Pagliacci and one act of Boris Godounoff in...

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