Homecoming

All day long Rio's fashionable hairdressers entwined flowers, jewels and ostrich plumes into lacquered coiffures. The weather was warm—but ladies who like to show off their platinum fox coats showed up at the Teatro Municipal in them anyhow. The cheapest seats in the gallery were $4.80; and the house was sold out. Baldwina ("Bidu") de Oliveira Sayao (rhymes with bye now), the cause of it all, was not surprised. Said she: "When they love an artist, they really love."

For her first home-town performance in six years, Soprano Sayao chose Debussy's ethereal opera, Pelléas et Mélisande, which she considers her best job...