Opera: Doing the Undoable

An orgy? In Boston? Er—, ah—, well now, everyone muttered, that would take a little doing. But doing is Sarah Caldwell's speciality, and last week she led her Opera Company of Boston in the U.S. premiere of Schoenberg's epic Moses and Aron. For raw power, fireworks and daring, it was a spectacle that made Bunker Hill look like the Tea Party.

It was daring to schedule the opera in the first place. Big, sprawling and complex, Moses and Aron demands a range of musical and technical expertise that few opera companies could or...

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