Music: Master Meisfersinger

The New York City Opera's smart Director Laszlo Halasz was feeling pretty pleased with the repertory of his crack little company. Mozart was well taken care of, with bright, fast-paced productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. So were the French, with Carmen and Faust, and the Italians, with Aida, La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata. There was only one cloud in an otherwise sunny sky, but that one was a thunderhead: Wagner. Last week, with the help of an old Wagnerian, Halasz dissipated it.

The help came from 62-year-old Hungarian-born Baritone Friedrich...

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