THE OPERA WORLD has undergone seismic changes since Sondra Radvanovsky and I last spoke, in the midst of the pandemic lockdown, but they pale by comparison with the upheaval in the diva’s personal landscape. “My life this year has been really turned upside down,” she says with characteristic forthrightness.

“My mum died at the end of January, and her last words to me were, ‘Please go and be happy—and I know that you’re not.’ And I proceeded a few weeks later to separate from my husband, because mums always know, and my mum knew that things weren’t right in my world.”Radvanovsky, who remembers her grandfather’s telling her, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” has not allowed these devastating events to derail her; instead, she has used her professional life as a form of therapy.

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