Well, has it begun? Is the Europeanization of the Metropolitan Opera underway? For many years, some people have longed for this development; other people have dreaded it. What do I mean by “Europeanization”? It is just a shorthand, and, like many shorthands, very loose. I mean opera productions of the sort you find in Salzburg, summer after summer. Readers of this journal are perhaps familiar with my reports from that fair town. The productions “subvert” the operas they treat, and “subversion” is a cherished word in the vocabulary of the modern director. The director likes to rip an opera from its composer and librettist and make it something all his own: often something very ugly or twisted. I once knew an editor who explained his idea of editing: “I spit in the writer’s soup, so he doesn’t want to touch it anymore. When I spit into his piece, it’s all mine, and I can do...