Ali Baba

One evening Berlioz attended the debut performance of Ali Baba, an opera by Cherubini (with whom he had a long history of mutual animosity). "Near the end of the first act," he recalled, "tired of hearing nothing of the slightest interest, I could not help exclaiming loudly, '20 francs for an idea!' In the middle of the second I raised my bid, '40 francs for an idea!' The finale commenced. '80 francs for an idea!' It finally ended, and I rose, calling out as I went, 'By Jove, I give up. I'm not rich enough!'"
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