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Subject: Thanksgiving in Vienna
From: George Topinges <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:George Topinges <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Nov 2008 23:22:34 -0500
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Hello OPERA-Lers and a very Happy Thanksgiving !!!, 

Thanksgiving Day 50 years ago in Wien.

I had bought a poor turkey that looked like it had been fed very sparingly.

I lived in a basement apartment on Ungargasse (Hungarian Lane) in the 3rd district.

Invited were an Austrian, a Bulgarian, a Greek, and me - the Ami. 

It soon became apparent that the Bulgarian (a soprano) and the Greek (a tenor with a world class voice) were not going to speak to one another.

What I didn't know about Bulgarians and Greeks, I soon learned.

I explained to Elka and Theodoros that this was an American holiday and we were going to have a good time - which we eventually did.

Elka's first engagement was in a small city in Switzerland and her newspaper criticisms were so exceptional, within 3 months she was engaged at the Stuttgart Opera.

From time to time I have mentioned Theodoros - stage name Michael Theodore.  He debuted in Stuttgart, but shortly thereafter began a concert career.

Why he is so unknown in America I have never understood.  I used to have 7 different 12" LPs by him before all of my record collection was stolen from me. 

To me it was ironic that during the year and a half I lived in Greece taking care of my Father - our locally bought Feta cheese came from Bulgaria.

In Greece I met Callas' first accompanist.  He had become a conductor, but I didn't find out that Callas fact until years later in a book I have about Maria.

Please remember those dear souls that are starving to death.

George Topinges

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