Music: Supreme Sopranos

The bony-faced, roan-haired soprano who stepped onto the stage of Manhattan's Metropolitan Opera last week had already been honored in England as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In more colloquial Italy, she had been dubbed "La Stupenda." Roughly two hours after her appearance, the Commander sank to the stage singing the words: "Al giunger tuo soltanto fia bello il del per me!" (Though only when you join me can heaven be heaven to me)—and was rewarded with a special American accolade, a sustained roar that lasted for twelve minutes...

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