Two memorable events in Washington, D.C. yesterday afternoon: a recital at the Kennedy Center by the spectacular Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Florez; and a book party at a home in Northwest D.C. for the spectacular American author, our own Andrew Ferguson.
The recital had Florez, accompanied by the Washington National Opera Orchestra, singing arias by Rossini, Verdi and Donizetti, among others. The final scheduled work (there were three encores) was Tonio's famous "Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fete!" from Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment, with its nine high C's. Florez brought down the house, and deservedly so. It was one of those rare performances where you say to yourself, I won't forget being there. (You can watch and listen to Florez singing "Ah, mes amis," here or here.)
Later in the afternoon, the Juan Diego Florez of writers, Andy Ferguson, was toasted by well-wishers at a book party, in the wake of his deserved rave review on the front page of the Washington Post's Outlook section.
Steven Levingston, the Post's nonfiction editor, judged Ferguson's Crazy U: One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College (Simon & Schuster, 228 pp. $25) "both a hilarious narrative and an incisive guide to the college admissions process," and of course "a pleasure to read." He reported that "Ferguson's storytelling is irresistible."
We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD knew that already. We trust that with Crazy U, more readers will discover the pleasures of Ferguson, and that he'll soon routinely be receiving the adulation (and achieving the wealth—college tuition ain't cheap!) of his Peruvian singing counterpart.