Music: Gussie's Glory

The only Carmen in operatic history to commit suicide was an opulently constructed New Jersey girl named Gussie Seit. That was seven years ago, at the Chicago Lyric Opera, after terrible-tempered Tenor David Poleri, appearing as Don José, stalked off the stage in the final act snarling at the conductor, "Finish it yourself." Gussie finished it herself by singing Don José's part as well as her own. At the moment of truth, when Don José was to have stabbed her, she stuck her thumb in her chest and dropped on the stage.

Since then, Trenton-born Gussie Seit, better known as Gloria Lane,...

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