Gay Talese and Katie Roiphe go to the Opera.
October 20, 2013 7:56 PM   Subscribe

The young Talese wanted to be American, not Italian, so he resented the Verdi and Puccini, this soundtrack to the boyhood he didn’t want to have.

At a performance of ‘La Traviata’ at the Met in New York, the legendary journalist tells Katie Roiphe how he fell in love with opera at the age of 75.
posted by vapidave (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Like baseball, opera is always best in-person and I prefer Rossini to be pitching...
posted by jim in austin at 8:30 PM on October 20, 2013

What a lovely article. I've not read any of Talese's work, though I recognised his name from the recent FPP on 'Frank Sinatra has a cold'. I will go now and read it. Thank you for the link.
posted by daisyk at 11:30 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Talese is a very important figure in New Journalism, as much as Tom Wolfe (of the Electric Cool Aid/Right Stuff variety, not the bloviating novel variety).

I find Katie Roiphe generally not as interesting a writer, but in this case she wrote a nice, short piece.

When I was at Indiana University Bloomington, it had a world-class opera and classical program (i.e. Joshua Bell came out of it, etc), and we got to see a very high standard La Traviatia for 5 bucks.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:20 AM on October 21, 2013

coincidentally, Gay Talese is the subject of last week's Longform podcast and if you're looking for more copies of his work: Longform also recently re-printed his 1963 Esquire article on George Plimpton and The Paris Review crowd (Looking For Hemingway) which reads like the best historical biopic that Whit Stillman never wrote.
posted by bl1nk at 12:46 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just for completeness' sake, here's Talese's New Yorker article [PDF] about Marina Poplavskaya that's referred to in this FT profile.
posted by orthicon halo at 6:15 AM on October 21, 2013

Well, now I feel like the most illiterate hick in America, because somehow I grew up with the impression that he was Jewish. Who the hell have I been mixing him up with all these years?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:24 AM on October 21, 2013

Gay Schwartzbaum.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:39 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why didn't I write Gay Tallis?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

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