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October 27, 2009

Disorderly soprano has novel excuse for cell phone flap: Michael Jackson

A mini-soap opera involving Argentine soprano Gabriela Pochinki, who was arrested Oct. 18 in a New York eaterie for disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and obstructing-government charges, got even stranger this week when she revealed the cause of it all.

According the the AP, Pochinki "was talking to the organizers of the Las Vegas premiere of Michael Jackson's film 'This Is It' when she was arrested at a swank Manhattan restaurant for yelling into her cell phone."

The opera singer was being invited by Jackson's family to sing at the Las Vegas premiere of the movie when she talked so loudly that restaurant employees complained. She didn't even notice their requests for her to tone it down, so they did the only sensible thing.

They called a cop and took away her food. She didn't go too quietly, either. 

The charges will be dismissed in six months, if she doesn't get into trouble again. Turns out that Pochinki charmed law enforcement officials while she was detained, singing a song from "West Side Story."

"They ... noticed that I was an opera singer and they applauded, they relaxed a bit," she told the AP. "When I was leaving, they asked me to sing one more song ... It was the nicest thing."

The soprano ultimately had praise for the justice system in this country, calling it "good" and "correct."

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:43 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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