Once the curtains lifted and the explosive, starburst chandeliers had risen to the ceiling, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky brought cheers and tears at the Met’s fiftieth anniversary gala at Lincoln Center this year. Baritone Hvorostovsky in a surprise return, despite a brain tumor, sang “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata” from Verdi’s Rigoletto.
If we don’t know who we are, how do we find the confidence to build things? And if our buildings won’t speak to us, how can we know what they are all about? Self-induced highs of perception just won't get us get us to this point of understanding, according to architectural historian Mark Jarzombek. Nor, in his view, can we count…