The most improbable prima donna of the year is a tenor named Anthony Laciura, who had the audience in the historic Dock Street Theatre here eating out of his hand this weekend. That accomplishment is particularly impressive because the hand had what looked like webbed fingers, and there were green spots-fungus? scales?-sprouting here and there on the skin.

Laciura, who is familiar to Washington audiences from his brilliant performances with the Washington Opera in "Monsieur Choufleuri" and "The Rake's Progress" in 1981, raised his career to new heights in the Spoleto Festival's opening performance of Jean Philippe Rameau's 1745 comic opera, "Plate'e," where he portrays the ugliest water nymph on earth, involved in a tragic love affair with Jupiter himself. …

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