NEW YORK CITY OPERA will open its 1991 season on July 9 in the New York State Theater with Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" and end with two weeks of Lerner and Loewe's "Brigadoon," Nov. 7-17. Tickets have risen on an average of $7, with top of $62.

Also scheduled are Verdi's "La Traviata," "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci" double bill, Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella" with Louis Quilico, Zimmerman's "Die Soldaten" and "The Mother of Three Sons" by Leroy Jenkins, with Bill T. Jones as director, choreographer and principal dancer.Filling out the season are "Tosca," "La Boheme," "Madama Butterfly," "Turandot," "The Pearl Fishers," "The Cunning Little Vixen" and "The Dead City."

- THE METROPOLITAN OPERA will present the world premiere of John Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles" next season, as well as all seven Mozart operas in its repertory.

The 1991-92 season, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Met in Lincoln Center, will open Sept. 23 with a gala performance consisting of three staged acts from different operas, with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti among the stars.

"The Ghosts of Versailles" has the ghost of Beaumarchais courting the ghost of Marie Antoinette by recreating characters from his plays. Teresa Stratas, Marilyn Horne and Hakan Hagegard will perform with James Levine conducting.

New productions of "The Girl of the Golden West" and "The Elixir of Love" are also scheduled, as is a new "Elektra." Top ticket prices will advance to $125, up from $115 this season.

- GINO FRANCESCONI, archivist for Carnegie Hall, learned to be a detective while aspiring to be a conductor.

Besides a wealth of memorabilia - batons of famous conductors, photographs signed by virtuosi, ticket stubs, promotional fliers, programs and posters - he has collected many items from descendants of performers who trod the Carnegie stage during the past 100 years.

For example, he has a letter written by Franz Liszt introducing Leopold Damrosch to America. Damrosch's son, conductor Walter Damrosch, is given credit for persuading Andrew Carnegie to construct Carnegie Hall.

Francesconi also has the original engraving plates from the first program in Carnegie Hall. This and much more will be on display when Carnegie Hall opens its new museum in April, just before its May centenary concert. "Stuff is out there. We have to let people know we need it," Francesconi said.

He has nailed down, he thinks, Carnegie Hall's three most repeated witticisms.

Helen Elman, whose late husband, Mischa, played in Carnegie Hall from 1908 to 1967, recounted that Elman came home chuckling one day after a rehearsal. He said he had encountered tourists on the street who, seeing his violin case, asked, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" He told his wife that a little impish impulse came over him and he answered, "Practice," and walked on.

Elman also figures in the anecdote of the intermission conversation at 17-year-old Jascha Heifetz's Oct. 27, 1917, Carnegie Hall debut. "It's hot in here," Elman said at intermission to his pianist friend, Leopold Godowsky. Godowsky responded, "Not for pianists."

And there's the time violinist Fritz Kreisler and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff were performing together and Kreisler lost his place. "Where are we?" he whispered. "In Carnegie Hall," Rachmaninoff whispered back, and kept playing.

- Compiled by Dorothy Stowe from Deseret News wire services.