Music: Beating the Met

San Francisco music lovers, who are as proud of their 28-year-old opera company as they are of their cable cars and bridges, like nothing better than to score a beat on Manhattan's Met. Often enough in past years, with the help of showmanship, fresh scenery and one of the best-equipped opera houses in the world, they have done just that. Last week, at the 1950 opening-night performance, they got the jump again by offering the U.S. operatic debuts of three European stars in a bang-up production of Aïda.

Italian Mario del Monaco, 27, got the evening's first big hand with his throbbing...

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