Continued from page 1

After being overlooked by U.S. opera houses, Ms. Lear won fame in Vienna singing the title character in Alban Berg’s “Lulu.”

Leaders in the opera world lauded her versatility, beauty, musicality and stage presence.

Christian singer Battistelli welcomes baby girl

It’s a girl for Grammy-nominated Christian singer Francesca Battistelli.

The 27-year-old and her husband, Matthew Goodwin, welcomed their second child, Audrey Jane Goodwin, at their Atlanta area home early Tuesday morning. The family then went to a hospital.

Her publicist told the Associated Press the baby weighs 8 pounds, 11 ounces and is 20 inches long. The couple have a son, Matthew Elijah, who was born in September 2010.

Ms. Battistelli said she was “so incredibly blessed with a beautiful baby girl” and added that big brother Eli is “so excited to have a little sister.”

Ms. Battistelli’s hits include “Free to Be Me” and “I’m Letting Go.”

Fight over Kinkade estate to remain public for now

Hearings in the dispute between Thomas Kinkade’s widow and girlfriend over the late artist’s $66 million estate will not be conducted behind closed doors — at least for now, a judge ruled Monday.

Kinkade’s widow, Nanette Kinkade, had sought to keep the matter private, asking Judge Thomas Cain to immediately send the case to an arbitration panel and not open probate court.

But Judge Cain rejected that request, saying he was being asked to make findings based on very limited information, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

At the center of the dispute are handwritten notes that Kinkade’s girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, said bequeath to her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings. She was living with Kinkade and found his body when he died in April.

Mrs. Kinkade, Kinkade’s wife of 30 years, disputes those claims and is seeking full control of the estate. She and Kinkade were legally separated when Kinkade, 54, died of an accidental alcohol and Valium overdose.

“We’re pleased that [the judge] is going to keep this matter in the probate court,” Sonia Agee, Ms. Pinto-Walsh’s attorney, told KGO-TV outside court. “We think it’s the right place for it, not only for Ms. Pinto, but also for the public interest.”

Story Continues →