26

Soprano Vina Bovy (1900-1983): The regal gambling big spender!

From the modest suburbs of Ghent to the lavish Empress de Montijo’s palatial “Villa Cyrnos” (French Riviera), hers was a fairy tale. As General Manager, she instilled a cosmopolitan dimension but conversely put the Opera’s finances in dire straits.  A gambler, she sold off her possessions and faced legal proceedings for financial arrears in social security contributions, causing a rebellion by the chorus and artists. She had love affairs with tenor André Burdino and with her factotum driver. She left a recording legacy.