Music: The Opera Week That Was

The orchestra pit of any opera house is best heard from, not seen. That was not the case last week, as the Paris Opéra opened at New York's Metropolitan Opera House and Milan's La Scala moved into Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. It was the first visit to the U.S. for both the storied companies, and in both pits there was unexpected drama on opening night.

At the Met, Sir Georg Solti, the Paris Opéra's principal guest conductor, led Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. A light had been glaring in his eyes all evening and,...

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