Music: Trouble Along the Nile

An overblown new Aida puts the Met's woes on display

Anyone who wonders what is wrong with American opera in general and the Metropolitan Opera in particular need look no further than Manhattan's Lincoln Center, where the Met last week uncrated its elephantine new production of Verdi's Aida. Can the nation's leading opera house really be serious about offering this animated comic book as art? While not a disaster on the order of last season's catastrophic Il Trovatore, the new Aida represents all that ails the company these days.

When the biggest hand of an operatic evening is not for the singers -- Leona Mitchell as the eponymous Ethiopian slave girl,...

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