The word got around on Monday - which would have been Maria Callas's 90th birthday - that music writer, translator, and blogger Marion Lignana Rosenberg died suddenly, of a pulmonary embolism, on Thanksgiving, while visiting friends. She was 51.
Marion's first blog, Vilaine Fiille, opened on October 31, 2004, the same day I started blogging. It did not take long for us to find each other; I knew Marion slightly from opera-l, and in fact she'd taken my extra ticket to a performance of Tristan at the Met in 1999. So it was good to encounter her again in the blogosphere.
She shut down Vilaine Fille in 2008 and switched to blogging at her web site, Mondo Marion. I did not follow this blog because I was under the impression that she was blogging primarily about Callas, but I see that this was actually not the case.
She was a witty, graceful, and extremely learned writer, with a broad background in comparative literature, European languages, drama, and music. It was a great frustration and pain to her that she was never able to land a full-time music reviewing/criticism/writing gig. Given the excellence of her writing and breadth of her knowledge, I wish she had been able to find such a job.
We were in touch earlier this year when I stumbled across a blog posting in which (among other things), she was puzzled by a reference elsewhere to a friend of mine. I dug up her email address and explained, and that was my last communication with her. (You don't need the details, really.)
I'm so sad and sorry that she's gone, much, much too soon.
Some remembrances of Marion elsewhere: