Please do not be surprised when a reality is born, formed and invoked by the magic of the stage itself—Do you not believe in the creative power of your own profession?
--The Father, in Six Characters in Search of an Author

A momentous event in American opera took place in Chicago at the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (the junior company of the Lyric Opera of Chicago) this past June. This event was almost unheralded; it was only noticed locally, and (save for an enthusiastic review by The New Yorker's Andrew Porter) it was ignored afterward by a national press interested on the one hand in star singers and on the other in the latest “cutting-edge” atrocities. Nevertheless, Hugo Weisgall’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (1956), with a libretto by the Irish playwright Denis Johnston, showed itself, in the September National Public Radio...

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