Music: Maestro's Return

Conductor Tullio Serafin threw up his job at the Metropolitan Opera 18 years ago and headed home to Italy; opera in the U.S., he said, was "dying." Last week, at 74, Conductor Serafin was back in the U.S., ready to admit that his pessimism may have been premature. After half a century of conducting in such world-famed opera houses as Milan's La Scala, Rome's Royal Opera and Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón, Maestro Serafin had signed up to lead the Italian wing at Manhattan's lively young City Opera.

"There is a flavor of music about...

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