what was Slatkin thinking? He had not originally been contracted to conduct "Traviata," but Corigliano's "Ghosts of Versailles." When that latter was canceled for financial reasons, he was retained for the Verdi replacement. In hindsight, he clearly should have said "no thanks," should have admitted that Verdi was not his thing. For that matter, Met management should have understood this from the get-go and simply found him something more suited to his considerable talents. And, at the very least, Slatkin should have arrived thoroughly immersed in the Verdian style, fully alert to every aspect of the "Traviata" score.