Music: Crash Around a Critic

As editor of Musical America and critic for the New Republic, friendly Cecil Smith, 44, has earned a reputation for bland but exacting reviews, has seldom stirred up any storms. In London last week, after a month of guest-reviewing for the Daily Express (circ. 4,240,000), he had thunder & lightning crashing all around him.

In his first week on the job, Critic Smith took after the star of a Covent Garden performance of Madame Butterfly. For him, Soprano (and onetime Australian golf champ) Joan Hammond was "not equipped by physique or temperament to portray the fragile, trusting heroine. There was about her...

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