Music: The Consul

Gian Carlo Menotti

It's been a grand season for American opera. First the New York City Opera and the Met produced Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men and Susannah, respectively, and now Menotti's The Consul--a tough, blunt cliff-hanger about political persecution--has finally made it to CD in a splendid live recording from last year's Spoleto Festival. The cast is solid; Richard Hickox's conducting, superb. Successfully premiered on Broadway in 1950 (yes, Broadway used to take such chances), The Consul is a little masterpiece of musical stagecraft whose grimly effective score and libretto haven't lost any of their punch--or relevance--in this ghastly age of ethnic...

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