Music: False Notes

The man on the phone said it was a bit of an emergency. Could Mrs. Dorothy Dobson sing top D flat? "Just a minute," said Dorothy. She had just had a baby and felt a little out of practice. She went to her piano, tried the note, and then reported back: yes, she could sing top D flat.

A few days later, plump, curly-haired Dorothy, 26—a soprano hardly anyone in London had ever heard of—found herself in the studio of His Majesty's Voice recording company. The famed star of the Milan Opera, Madame Margherita Grandi, was making a recording of the sleepwalking...

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