Music: Diva

In the Italian restaurants and bars of Manhattan's Fifties, the sound of minestrone was all but lost in the excited conversational buzz. The buzz was about a curvaceous blonde named Dorothy Kirsten. When she had appeared in a revival of Puccini's Manon Lescaut at the City Center Opera, the Italian operatic grapevine registered a medium-sized tremor. When she topped that with a striking performance of the far more exacting role of Violetta in Traviata, it began to sprout melodious expletives. The coloratura of her Sempre libera was passionate, accurate, brilliant. She was undoubtedly...

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