No doubt the audience liked it

May 11, 2009 5:05:50 AM PDT
You know you've really got the audience when you get a standing ovation before the final act.

That's what conductor James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera orchestra enjoyed Saturday night in New York during their final performance of the fourth opera in Wagner's "Ring" cycle. The production first premiered 20 seasons ago.

The audience, aware it was hearing something special, gave its standing ovation before the final act began. And what was the applause like after it was all over? Fuggedaboutit! The tumultuous ovation went on for 15 minutes. As one reviewer put it, that's rare in these days of quick dives for the exit.

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