Music: Optimus

Last week in Manhattan, newspapers, billboards flaunted an advertisement: The World's Greatest Tenor would give a concert. The billboards carried pictures of a round-faced Italian with small, black eyes like pants buttons—a picture of Beniamino Gigli. He would sing, so he announced, favorite arias and "there is no tenor living who sings these melodious arias like Gigli. To hear any one of them is worth the price of your ticket."

Many flocked to hear him, saw a stuffy little man, like a bantam rooster, come on the stage, saw him swell out his...

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