William V. Madison

Author, Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life

When I was 16 and still new to opera, my aunt and uncle died in a plane crash. My immediate response was to listen to music: Beverly Sills records, over and over. This was the start of my exploration of the ways in which music helps me to endure chaos, and as a New Yorker in the days after 9/11, I learned the lessons all over again: courageous performances by Susanne Mentzer, Karina Gauvin, and Leontyne Price helped me to begin to heal. As artists, all of us are constantly confronted with the limitations of our abilities and our art, but we writers must understand that there are some things words can never express: that’s what music is for.

And so I ask you:
In the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?

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