I have a teeny little bit of personal history with this opera icon; sad to see that Ms Forrester has left us.
This would have been some thirty years ago, when as a college student I was earning rent money by stage-managing any and every sort of musical event, one of which was a set of master classes given by the diva.
For those who haven’t been to a master class, it’s essentially a public music lesson. The students (young professionals on that occasion) perform little bits and pieces; the Star critiques and praises and makes them retake and rethink and rework. Good fun — she was a natural teacher and obviously enjoyed offering faux-intimate “just between me and all of you” asides to the audience; I sure learned a lot about opera singing.
Anyhow, here’s what sticks in my memory. I’d put in a few hours of hard work setting up the room and polishing the piano and so on; then the Leading Lady swept in. She arrived in a cloud of perfume and pastel taffeta, retainers either side, laughing hugely, her smile framed by a tower of golden hair and a generous helping of creamy bosom. Introductions all around, then she asked “And which way to the little girls’ room?”
I didn’t have the nerve to say it, but I was thinking she was about as far from a “little girl” as it’s possible for a female person to be; it was a thrill to be in her presence.