Every time I've seen the great Frederica von Stade's name on a program in the last few years, I've breathed a sigh of relief and bought myself a ticket. I've been behaving as though each appearance might be her last.
She now has a date, or at least a year, for those last appearances. She will retire in 2010.
I gather that her management company has advised performing arts organizations of this. I hope we'll have a few more chances to see her in the Bay Area over the next couple of seasons.