HITTING THE MARK: What turns a top-notch opera singer into a full-fledged star? The perfect part and director can't hurt. Take baritone Mark Delavan in the New York City Opera's pratfall-packed production of Verdi's Falstaff. His sly acting and fat-bottomed voice--supported by Leon Major's lickety-split staging--have opera buffs buzzing about why he's not singing at the Met. Who cares, when you can see him in the role of a lifetime right now?

--By Terry Teachout


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