Your first time singing on stage is bound to be nerve-wrecking. Especially if it’s opera. Especially if it’s at the Vienna State Opera. Especially if you’re 29 and had no formal training. Especially if it’s in the lead role of Aida. And you have the first lines. And it’s the first time the opera has been open in years, because of World War II. And you’re Jewish. And the audience is mainly comprised of the only people who could afford to buy opera tickets at the time: former Nazi government officials. So you have to say, fair play to Hilde Zadek – who went on to have a lengthy career in opera, became one of the German-speaking operatic world’s true stars and bagged herself a lesbian lover 36 years her junior (Maria Venuti – not to be confused with the DDP pick of the same name).