Music: Bing's Five-Year Plan

In his seven seasons as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, elegant, acerbic Rudolf Bing has taken some sharply critical looks at culture in the U.S., has cast an occasional wistful eye at the old-world advantages—including fat government subsidies—of European opera houses. Despite the fact that, artistically speaking, there are really no big managerial plums after the Met (Milan's La Scala is not likely to hire a non-Italian boss), gossip that Vienna-born Manager Bing was about to leave has persistently cropped up. Last week the Met's directors announced that Bing has been signed to a new five-year contract, and that the...

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