Opera: The Persistent One

Sarah Caldwell was neglecting herself again. Her hair was stringy and matted, her clothes unbelievably shabby. She was keeping alive on a daily ration of one dozen hamburgers, with suitable amounts of coffee and Cokes. On nights when she worked till dawn, she would wrap herself up in her overcoat, ease her 300 Ibs. down into one of the aisles of her theater, and sleep. Her friends would find her there in the morning, vaguely punchy but ready for work.

To needle everyone into proper trim for her production of Bellini's 1 Puritani, Caldwell...

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