Music: A Familiar Voice

Manhattan's critics had cleared their throats and sung an unaccustomed high C for Flagstad (see above). Next night, in a Carnegie Hall loaded with Met stars and singing teachers, they had to strain their voices again for a singer most of them had never seen, though they had heard her on records.

When plump little Italian Mezzo-Soprano Ebe Stignani walked onstage for her New York debut, she got an unexpected ovation. It overwhelmed her so much she could hardly get through her first group of Handel and Vivaldi songs. "I can't sing when I am emotional," she said. But when she got...

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