Pauline sang, she was an opera star, but she also composed and had her salon in Paris. And Thursday's show will try to re-capture the atmosphere of the salon, with songs by Viardot or inspired by her. The host of the evening is Marilyn Horne, a mezzo-soprano legend in her own right. She rarely sing nowadays, having nothing to prove anymore, but she's a Viardot fan, and she'll introduce the tunes. Frederica von Stade, maybe Alameda's most famous resident, will be doing the singing. Flicka does not need to be introduced: she starred at the SF Opera (last seen here), the Met or La Scala, she recorded over 70 CDs, she sang at the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Olympics. Like Viardot, composers are vying for her (professional) attention, and she just wrapped up a premiere run of "Three Decembers," the latest opera written for her by Jake Heggie, in Houston. We were lucky to catch up with her.

Frederica von Stade above, and in "Three Decembers" below