(Photo: Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera)Leonard Slatkin explains to the Detroit Free Press that everything was going great guns with the Met Traviata rehearsals until he played stage director, telling Alfredo (James Valenti) to take visual focus in the final seconds of the opera.

After that, he claims, Angela Gheorghiu (intentionally?) started “singing flat, missing entrances and distorting phrases beyond recognition.” Gheorghiu, The Met, and Thomas Hampson all studiously avoid replying to the assertion.