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Jul. 18th, 2008 | 01:24 pm

I just made a connection, something that took me about three years. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, has been one of my favorite books, mostly because I love opera and it's very exciting and beautifully written. I knew that the soprano in the book, Roxane Coss, was inspired by Renee Fleming, who is from Rochester and whose mother was always a peripheral figure in my time taking voice lessons at Eastman, teaching in the next room over from Cecile. I was always enchanted by that connection, but then about five minutes ago another big light bulb went off in my head, that Chema, who was our mentor in EPIIC and the former Guatemalan ambassador to Peru, was one of the hostages in the real-life crisis that the book is based on. What a strange revelation.

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