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Classical Notes

An Embarrassing Moment at the Opera

Posted at 4:09 PM on March 7, 2007 by Rex Levang

So a few weeks ago, I was at the Minnesota Opera's world premiere production of "The Grapes of Wrath." "That's interesting," I noted, looking at the program. "One of their singers has the same name as a well-known singer."

And then--this is the embarrassing moment--I realized that not only was she named Rosalind Elias, she was the Rosalind Elias.

(If you're not familiar with Rosalind Elias, she is a very distinguished American mezzo who, among other things, appeared in the world premiere production of Samuel Barber's Vanessa. And if you are familiar with her, from a decades-long career, you'll probably be cheered to know that she keeps up a lively schedule of performances: she's still singing in "Vanessa," though now in the role of the Old Baroness, not the young Erika--and later this season, she'll be in another world premiere: "Anna Karenina," by David Carlson, which debuts at Florida Grand Opera. She plays one of those wise, earthy Tolstoyan peasants--a role in which she'll no doubt be applauded just as warmly as she was at the Ordway in February.)