The Oct. 25 Style review of the Washington National Opera's "Il Trovatore" was mean, outrageous, unfair and downright vindictive. I am surprised that someone on your staff did not intervene and tone down the article's harsh criticism. I have never read such a bad review and neither have most of my opera lover friends.

On Oct. 27 I went to the opera fearing a horrible night of screeching voices, forgotten lines, missed cues, people bumping into each other on stage -- all the things one would expect after reading Tim Page's review. Instead, I found myself immersed in an honorable production of "Il Trovatore." It was not the best production, but it was far from the horror described by Page. Sadly enough, the article scared away many would-be opera-goers and there were many empty seats, a shameful sight considering that it starred one of the greatest American mezzo-sopranos.

What Page forgets -- and it might help if someone on The Post's management team reminded him -- is that he writes his reviews for the general public, not for elite musicologists from the Academy of Music. His review was not for the benefit of Post readers but sounded more like a personal vendetta against the Washington National Opera. I do not think that Page has ever seen a bad production, if he called this "II Trovatore" one of the "worst performances" he has seen. I have not seen or heard anything that would even remotely bring this production into the worst-ever category. Of course, I go to the opera and see many productions that are much better than this "Il Trovatore," and I've seen many that are a lot worse, but having such a horrible review attached to this particular production was a great injustice.

The gratuitous comment about expectations based on the high ticket price was out of line. May I remind Tim Page that the best seats at a Washington Redskins game cost just about as much and the guarantees of a good show are much less reliable? I think that Page and The Post owe an apology to the Washington National Opera and to Post readers.

-- Michael Klein