"This is not to say there aren't moments of beauty; but these are moments, fleeting. And when the opera is comic, as it often is, it is frightening-comic — not pleasant-comic."
That would be Prokofiev's opera version of the Dostoevsky story "The Gambler," which we saw at The Metropolitan Opera tonight. Frightening-comic — not pleasant-comic... Isn't that what you want in your opera?