struggle to destroy traditional society.nIncreasingly, traditionalist views arensimply illegal. Woe to the corporatenexecutive who dares to utter a commonsensicalnpreference for men asnmanagers! In Canada, special governmentnfunds have been established tonsubsidize women bringing affirmativenaction and comparable worth suits. InnMrs. Steele’s words, “Millions of dollarsnhave actually been pouring intonsupport mechanisms across the country,nfrom federal and provincial governments,nto enable women to win allntheir complaints cases, whereas therenhas never been a penny offered byngovernments for defense in thesencases.”nNew divorce laws underline the extentnof the changes that have takennplace. In Canada, ex-wives receive solenchild custody in 85.6 percent of cases,nregardless of whether fault was presentnand which spouse initiated the divorce.nMrs. Steele reports that “Statistics alsonshow that women outnumber men twonto one in seeking divorce” (emphasis innoriginal). Like their American counterparts,nCanadian feminists have engineerednmajor increases in child support.nAs in the U.S., these increases arenbacked up by computerized enforcementnand the imprisonment of fathersnwho fail to pay. Shorn of all authoritynover his children and forced to work forna wife who has discarded him, thentypical divorced man today is less thannan indentured servant (who at leastnsigned his contract of servitude voluntarily).nUnsurprisingly, no one profitsnfrom this system of family destruction.nThe ex-wife typically finds herselfnfaced with the crushing burdens ofnsingle motherhood, the dearth of eligiblenmen, and the lasting desolation ofnthe children of divorce.nAs traditional sex roles fade intonhistorical memory, the results of thenfeminist revolution are coming intonfocus. In 1973, it was projected that 95npercent of Canadians would marry atnleast once in their lives. By 1983, thisnfigure had fallen to 65 percent. Sincen1968, the divorce rate in Canada hasnrisen 500 percent. Between adult lonelinessnand the impact of divorce onnchildren, the suicide rate has skyrocketed.nFrom 1965 to 1982, the suicidenrate among Canadian teenagers increasednby 327 percent. The Canadiannfertility rate has plummeted and is nown38/CHRONICLESnone of the world’s lowest, at 1.4 childrennper family. (Replacement level isnaround 2.3 children per family.) Unlessnbuttressed by immigration, governmentnpopulation experts predict thatnthe Canadian population will fall fromn25 million today to 15 million in 2050.nThe picture Betty Steele paints isnnot a pretty one, but we should notnflinch from it, for it is accurate. As thenFrancis Fukuyamas bask in the worldwidentriumph of liberal democracy,nMrs. Steele comes to remind us thatnour current arrangements have all thenstability of the later Roman Empire.nNicholas Davidson is the author ofnThe Failure of Feminismn(Prometheus Books) and the editor ofnGender Sanity: The Case AgainstnFeminism, an anthology (UniversitynPress of America).nThe UnmelancholynDane andnthe ExemplarynAmericannby/.O. TatenTristanissimo: The AuthorizednBiography of Heroic TenornLauritz Melchiornby Shirlee EmmonsnNew York: Schirmer Books;n480 pp., $24.95nLawrence Tibbett: Singing ActornEdited by Andrew FarkasnPortland, Oregon: Amadeus Press;n160 pp., $29.95nThe number of Wagner revivals hasnbeen increasing since the laten1950’s and the John Culshaw/CeorgnSolti Ring. The Wagnerian presencenis so extended that the MetropolitannOpera’s production of the Ring wasnbroadcast last summer on four successivennights on public television. Thenresult was quite good, though it’s a bitnunnerving to find a mini-Bayreuth atnhome. Perhaps the presence of thenRing cycle as an option on the cable isneven more remarkable than the performancesnthemselves, in this age of Madonnanand 2 Live Crew.nnnBut still, there’s something missing.nThe Briinhilde is shrewd and brave,nbut also “overparted.” She just hasn’tngot the chops. The Siegfried too hasnhis merits, all but one — he doesn’tnsound like a hero. In these cases andnothers, memory supplies what it provokes:nthe thought of complete masterynof the singing requirements. Somenremember yet the live performancesnthat others know from recordings.nThere is an immortality that attaches toncertain names: Frida Leider, FriedrichnSchorr, Kirsten Flagstad, perhapsnHelen Traubel and Birgit Nilsson. Andnone other, of course. The shadow ofnLauritz Melchior looms; the echo resounds.nWhat then — forty years afternMelchior’s retirement fromnopera and seventeen years afternhis death — does the operaticnworld still await? A Heldentenornvoice of steely power andnclarion ring that can cutnthrough the Wagneriannorchestra handily; a voice sonstrong that it never needs tonoperate at its limit, giving thensense of power in reserve; anvoice, therefore, with thenendurance to triumph at thenend of the role; a voice,nfurthermore, not only so giftednas to strength and quality, butnalso so well-schooled in thenidiomatic use of the Germannlanguage that it reveals thenpoetry of the score, and sontechnically skilled that it cannmaster the art of dynamicnshading rather than capitulatingnto the adoption of a uniformnfortissimo bellow. This is to say,na voice that is equal to RichardnWagner’s own ideal.nShirlee Emmons puts Lauritz Melchiornin that perspective, and rightly so.nShe puts him in other perspectives asnwell. She shows us Melchior as a “Copenhagennlad,” one devoted for life tonwining and dining, a curiously passivenman whose rather strange family life shentreats with understanding and a firmnfairness. Shirlee Emmons shows us ansinger who was at Bayreuth in 1924nwhere and when he learned his craft innan ambiance that included Cosima andnSiegfried Wagner, and Adolf Hitler.nAnd in a historical counterpoint, shen