How Maria Lost her voice (and How Bea found it!)

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He is an IT guy, a de-bugger by trade, and in this, his third outing, we learn of his connection to the Boston Aloysius Tucker is an MIT-educated computer genius. Sal Rizzo, his cousin, is a mafioso don. Tucker loves Rizzo and his family and mostly stays out of mob business, except when he can't. One morning Terminated is Ray Daniel's first novel. Its subject, treated in almost clinical detail, is the disease of fame.

Only the most talented, of course, run any danger of infection, but the malady can be swift and wasting. Miss Stassinopoulos, a young Cambridge graduate, came in late to the Callas career, artistically speaking. The author says she heard a Callas ''Norma'' at Epidaurus in , when she was 10 years old.

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But by the soprano's ''Medea'' was being hissed at La Scala and by the following year she was trying to salvage her voice by turning to the mezzo-soprano repertory. Of course, there are all those Callas recordings, early and late, for any biographer to hear and wonder at, so the author's youth is not necessarily a fatal handicap. And, in fact, the strictly musical component of this biography is not large: what fascination the book holds revolves around the picture it draws of a great artist - perhaps, next to Caruso the most celebrated singer of this century - being destroyed in public and assisting in the demolition.

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The destruction, both vocal and personal, came about partly owing to Miss Callas's own insatiable desire for celebrity and a need to be close to power. But the chief instrument of ruin most certainly was the late Mr. Onassis, who from this book's detailed testimony was a remarkably crude, trivial and nasty man.

Both these celebrated personages were fierce snobs, attracted to and impressed by sheer power and wealth.

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Onassis bought international society's most lustrous names and wore them like pinky rings. Miss Callas was, for a time, exhibited proudly in this collection, but she was really out of her element: what few musical people could be found in this circle were admitted because of their glamour, not their talent. One striking thing to be noticed in this biography is the qualitative change over the years in Miss Callas's circle of associates.

Increasingly, her days and nights were spent in the company of the world's silly people: the Elsa Maxwells, the superannuated princes, the dress designers, the perfume heiresses. She apparently fell in love with two homosexual directors, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Luchino Visconti, and in the aftermath of the Onassis affair took up with an enemy of earlier days, the tenor Giuseppe di Stefano. She was, however, a woman with a need to be taken care of by a rich daddy: first by her industrialist husband, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, then by her ship-owning tyrant, Aristotle Socrates Onassis.

Onassis, we are told, hated opera and went out of his way to humiliate the great singer, whose interest in music faded under his influence. Since her eyes were exceptionally weak, she needed glasses to read scores, but her beloved hated her in glasses and ridiculed her for wearing them. She gave up playing the piano and cultivated her nails.

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She ordered dozens of black dresses because he liked her only in black. He made her walk behind him and his children, who hated her, and once said in front of some friends: ''What are you? You just have a whistle in your throat that no longer works. I went to graduated from the now defunct Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers. A serious toughie! Voting for both is a no-no, but voting for neither would accomplish the same thing. But that is a cop out, something neither of these saints would have stood for!

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Guess the getting murdered while performing mass will have to tip the scale for me. Oscar fought a more deadly enemy than ostracism. Oh, this is so so so hard. I have a fondness for both, particularly for Archbishop Romero. Elizabeth was baptized as an infant in my current Episcopal Parish, and I love the Sisters of Charity.

I have to vote for my homegirl. Another tough choice, but in the end I had to go with Romero, who sacrificed his life for the disadvantaged people in his country. The Seton folks were greeted with love like long lost cousins and were overwhelmed by Episcopal hospitality. We had a sweet taste of heaven together just like Elizabeth Ann and John Henry now share together.

It may be in fits and starts but God has ways and ways of getting us all on the same track. It sounds as if ecumenism can be a grassroots enterprise. I really, really love to hear about people and parishes overcoming differences to get on the same track. Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone in my hope for church unity.

Guide How Maria Lost her voice (and How Bea found it!)

An amazing story, especially for a woman of her time with absolutely no backing of authority or power other than the intentions of her most generous soul. She was fed in and she fed by the power of the Holy Spirit. God bless her. I worked for the Sisters of Charity during college, and that seems to have decided me on this one. Even though I did not belong to the church at all then, I learned a deep respect for the Catholic Church and for Christianity in general from that experience, because of some of the people I met there and the things I saw.

Fantastic idea…. Barbara and others who have not seen it, here is the wonderful movie about Romero called Romero who is played by Raul Julia. So worth seeing!! Worthy opponents, well matched. Elizabeth Seton—first U. Oscar Romero—a humble, even meek, priest turned bishop turned Archbishop, who found great courage to face a great evil head-on, in the name of Christ for the sake of the poor.

Both seemingly modest Christians who discovered grace in great adversity. Vote to Oscar. Remember that her socialite Episcopalian family rejected for becoming a Roman Catholic. She stood by her faith. All of the candidates are worthy…but I have a soft spot for blessed Elizabeth. But as a person who started out as Southern Baptisit then went to the Church of the Nazarene before coming home to the Episcopal Church, I admire Elizabeth Seton for joining a church that met her spiritual needs. I think I need more caffeine before I make this decision.

I, perhaps like many others, have such a profound respect for those who literally give up their lives for what they believe in. Unfortunately it seems to me that the bracket this year is particularly heavy with martyrs making future votes even harder to decide. As an Episcopalian who loves the sacramental liturgy of the modern church…I have to vote for Mother Seaton.

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I like to think we would have enjoyed worshipping together. I finally had to go with Elizabeth because — while the difficulty of standing up to hoards of bad guys is pretty much recognized — the difficulty of standing up to your own family and friends is often not.

I love them both dearly. Archbishop Romero for his powerful witness and his sacrifice, Seton for choosing God over social convention and for her work with women who struggled. I voted for Mother Seton for sentimental reasons:at my elementary school I was taught by Sisters of Charity, who were tough working-class women with deep and powerful faith. Voted for the Archbishop.


I am in a small group studying some of the prophets for Lent. First — thanks to all the CBs. But moving away from Mother Seaton was tough. Another seriously unfair matchup. Oh, my. I hope this one is close. Which is better, stronger: giving your life, or giving your death?