Music: Opera for Gourmets

The opera was off the beaten track, the passage soft and opulent, and the boys from Local 802 were not digging it. "Say," said one to Conductor Arnold U. Gamson, "you're highbrow, aren't you?" Patiently Gamson explained what the passage was about, finally told them: "It's like the music for a striptease." That did it. The violins became silky, the horns impassioned, and everyone proceeded with the rehearsal of Anna Bolena, one of Gaetano Donizetti's rarely played masterpieces.

Anna was performed last week for the first time in the U.S. in more than a century when the American Opera Society opened its...

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