Music: Kipling & Thompson Opera

Operatic climaxes are usually marked by surging strings, blaring brass, rumbling kettledrums; but this time, when the crucial moment came, there was silence. Composer Randall Thompson had a good reason. He had made into a one-act, three-quarter-hour opera the last of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories: The Butterfly That Stamped—and the climax came at the earth-shaking but quite inaudible stamp of the butterfly.

Thompson's opera, retitled Solomon and Balkis, had its world premiere last Sunday over a CBS network. Commissioned jointly by CBS and the League of Composers, it was the first opera to emerge under the League's "Composers' Theater" plan, inaugurated...

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