“My fate was sealed”


“My fate was sealed.”

by Duane Printz

The glowing and fabulously knowledgable impresaria of the Teatro Grattacielo.
August 29,2006
When I was a girl in Portsmouth, Virginia, I was introduced to Italian opera by one of my seventh grade teachers.  I loved it at once and when I was given a gift of the complete recording of Lucia di Lammermoor starring Joan Sutherland, my fate was sealed.  I began collecting recordings and books about opera and started a correspondence with Joan Sutherland as an adoring fan.  Her secretary, Anne Roughley, would answer every letter and acknowledge every gift.
So I began pestering my parents to make the trip to Atlanta to see an opera.  I chose Atlanta because that seemed to me to be the closest and in those days the Metropolitan Opera went there every year on their spring tour.  Finally, my father had heard enough and said if I would wait until the next year, they would take me to New York to the real Metropolitan Opera on 39th Street and Broadway to see Joan Sutherland in Lucia di Lammermoor.  I immediately wrote to Miss Sutherland who even invited me backstage to meet her in person.
My family and I all went to the Metropolitan Opera on December 5, 1965, and from that moment my destiny was sealed—opera would just have to be my life!  I will never forget that performance—the magnificent sets and costumes, the dogs and the falcon in Act I, the mad scene, the overwhelming emotion of the experience, and especially meeting Joan Sutherland in her dressing room after the performance.  She was truly a larger-than-life figure and so gracious as I gave her the keys to the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, which our mayor had given to me to give to her on that occasion.
As soon as we returned home, I began pestering my parents about going to conservatory in New York City and going to Italy, but that’s another story.  And guess what, I did them both!

~ by aprilemillo on June 25, 2007.