ARGENTINA: Triumph at the Colon

Triumph at the Colón

Long before the dying Mimi whimpered her last notes, first-nighters in Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón were sure it had a new star. When the crimson curtain finally fell on La Bohème, even hypercritical gallery-goers joined in the ovation for 22-year-old Soprano María Helena Arizmendi.

The applause for Maria Helena capped a success story. Four years ago, a shapely, green-eyed girl with chestnut hair, she sold sportswear in a Buenos Aires department store for $32 a month. She liked to sing, finally decided to make a career of it. One day...

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