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Babe chat

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Who would have guessed it - Soane and Mozart sharing a girlfriend! This intriguing scenario was raised at a lecture at the Soane last week, one of the events marking the 250th anniversary of the great man's birth. The lady in question, a certain Miss S, was only 15 when Soane met her in Florence. The daughter of an Italian father and English mother, she was strikingly beautiful, and undertaking her first role as an actress. Soane subsequently wrote to her. As indeed did Mozart, who met her rather later, and based the character of Susanna in the Marriage of Figaro on her. The things you learn. Incidentally, congratulations to Stephen Bayley on a very nice piece on Sir John Soane's Museum in the Independent on Sunday.So much nicer than his puff on Birmingham the week before.

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