Opera: Home Sweet Zoo

Opera singers, as everyone knows, are exotic creatures. Nowhere have they been more clearly categorized as-such than in Cincinnati, where for the past 49 years Verdi and Bizet have been performed outdoors in the city zoo—joined, and sometimes drowned, by more basic animal noises from lions, seals, bears, elephants, peacocks and other prima donnas of the animal kingdom.

Last week the Zoo Opera dropped the curtains on its colorful, uncomfortable past. Next summer the Zoo Opera will be gone from the zoo and installed downtown. The stage will be full-sized, air-conditioning will...

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