OPERATIC ARISTOCRACY

WITH HIS PEDIGREE, HIS VISION AND HIS BACKSTAGE EBULLIENCE, GIANCARLO DEL MONACO PROVES HIMSELF A THRILLING DIRECTOR

Sometimes the best and most lavish show on Broadway is some 15 blocks north of the theater district, at the Metropolitan Opera House. It is one of the few places in the world that can offer truly grand productions of an art that thrives on bravura and artifice. This season the Met has two such extravaganzas, new productions of Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Both look real enough to step into. Butterfly's fragile cottage is guarded by a line of sentinel iris standing in an authentic Japanese garden. The walls and ceiling of the doge's council chamber in Boccanegra,...

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