“You are the greatest Brünnhilde I have heard in 40 years.”

“And who did you hear 40 years ago?” inquired Birgit Nilsson of what must have been a momentarily flummoxed Karl Böhm.

The wit and the voice seem utterly inseparable to us now – disarming, unflagging and totally at the legendary soprano’s beck and call. It could lash, or it could draw you in closer: it could certainly do both at the same time. With...

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