Today is my old teacher's birthday.  She's gone now, but she would have been in her 90's -- I don't know exactly where in her 90's.  One of the many fascinating things about Inge's life growing up with Mdm. Manski was that when they came to the US in the 1920's -- Mdm. Manski having figured out that Germany was no place for a nice Polish girl even if she sang Isolde's and Sieglinde's at Bayreuth and Berlin -- Mdm. Manski lied about Inge's age, making her a year younger than she actually was.  Inge did not find out about it until she applied for Social Security and found that she was a year late.

I owe so much to Inge.  Not just the years of excellent singing that I was privileged to have, not just the nurturing that she gave me as a young professional, not just that she was our children's godmother and a very close friend, but she herself had had a career spanning the Met, other opera companies, Broadway with Kurt Weil and Mary Martin, Hollywood and the USO in the 40's.  I received the benefit of all of these experiences, of her direction in the shows I performed in for her at the college, and hundreds of things she said to me that I now say to my students.  I would never have thought of teaching except that she insisted I do it.  She sparked my first interest in voice science in the early 80's.  She was an extraordinary teacher. 

I don't know why I was surprised to find that she was a president of Georgia NATS, except that organizing committees and events was never her best thing.  She would put herself into the hospital every time she produced an opera at the college because of her lack of ability to delegate.  Giving back to the profession, though, was one of her things, and I've always felt compelled to serve in NATS because Inge would want me to. 

Inge was lucky to have survived her childhood.  When her dad died, she was sixteen years old.  Her mother yielding to diva-esque ideas of tragedy, refused to return to their NYC apartment, so Inge had to move her into a hotel, rent a new apartment in Manhatten, move their things, and deal with the old apartment all by herself.  The stories go on and on.  I don't think that Inge was exaggerating when she said that she used to earn pocket money from the German singers at the Met because they didn't trust the Italian prompters; they would pay her to stand in the wings and give them their cues.  No wonder she could recognize any opera  broadcast on Saturday afternoons within three seconds.

Anyway, wherever you are, Ingie, may you be blessed and loved forever.