When Hungarian conductor Zoltan Szanto (Arestrup) arrives in Paris for rehearsals of Wagner's Tannhäuser, he is optimistic that this will be a big career break. The lavish production has brought together top European and American talent, and though this might mean that he is misunderstood in six different languages, Szanto hopes that everyone will share his dedication. Instead, passion among the musicians is confined to bedrooms and kitchens, and spirited debate saved for union meetings. Szabó based this story on his own experiences, along with producer David Puttnam's at Columbia, and personal affinities may have blinded both to the project's indulgences. Petty in-fighting might stir the creative juices, but the endless nationalistic jibes and egocentric displays do little to endear the characters. There's too much chaos and not enough comedy; if this is meant to mirror the new Europe, the future looks grim.