Met Opening

September 22, 2008

Having decided beforehand not to write about tonight’s gala at the Metropolitan Opera, knowing that something so sensational will be sufficiently covered by others, I’m going back on that slightly. When James Levine came out to accept the warm applause motivated partly by his welcome return from cancer surgery, he then turned to the orchestra, there was a big drum-roll as everyone stood, and the National Anthem began. Hearing thousands of opera-goers sing that at a time of national turning-point — of great crisis, even — was very moving, even for one who does not automatically turn himself over to nationalistic sentiment.

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