Music: Proudest Hour?

After five years' toil, Britain's famed Sir William Walton, 52, last week unveiled his first opera, Troihis and Cressida, at London's Covent Garden. The melodramatic plot (of amorous scheming and betrayal in ancient Troy) was lusty, but the heavily sweet music resembled Walton's lyrical Viola Concerto more than his uproarious Belshazzar's Feast. The London Times called it "a great tragic opera," and the Daily Express hailed "the proudest hour for British music since the premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes." Sir William made his own evaluation: "It won't please the highbrows . ....

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