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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!