Moments after the curtain fell on his performance in a Verdi opera at Washington's Kennedy Center, Soviet tenor Vladimir Popov played the leading role in an emotional backstage drama when he received his U.S. citizenship papers from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. "This is the greatest day in my life," declared Popov, who fell to his knees, crossed himself and grinned broadly. "I'm a little bit nervous." Popov, 42, defected in 1982 in Milan, Italy, while on leave from the Bolshoi Opera to study Italian repertoire at La Scala.
On Saturday night, Popov sang with prima donna Aprile Millo in the Washington Opera's first production of the Giuseppe Verdi spectacular, Aida, before a sold-out audience.
Popov then joined his American-born wife, Lucy, backstage for a joyful celebration with a small circle of friends and well-wishers.
Popov had interrupted rehearsals for Aida on Friday to fly to snowbound New Hampshire to take his oath as a naturalized citizen.
"Even Nadia leaves .
Nadia Comaneci thinks her defection from Romania may have helped trigger the revolution there, the former Olympic gymnast says in Life magazine's March issue.
Comaneci said her flight to the West in November hit her homeland "like a bomb. A bomb for the government. Because what will the people think? That even Nadia leaves Romania.
"They thought I had the good life, but I didn't. I lived just like the others," said Comaneci, who won glory for her country when she scored perfect 10s in the Montreal Olympics in 1976.
Comaneci confirmed rumors that she tried to kill herself at the age of 15 by drinking bleach. She spent two days in the hospital and was "glad because I didn't have to go to the gym," she said.
She is living in Los Angeles and is going to do commercials on Italian television for household soap and detergent, Life said.
Spike Lee: No hazing
Movie director Spike Lee urged his alma mater to ban fraternities as he accepted an achievement award from the school, Morehouse College. He also said he was kicked off campus while filming there in 1987.
"During this past semester, a young man .
. died," Lee said, referring to Joel Harris, who officials said died of a heart ailment after hazing from potential fraternity brothers. "I think we should abolish fraternities from Morehouse's campus."
Lee appeared at the Atlanta campus Saturday to be honored for his achievements. He received a 1990 Bennie Award, handed out each year as part of the all-male college's Founders Days celebrations.
Lee, 32, was nominated for an Academy Award last week for the screenplay he wrote for his latest film, Do the Right Thing.
Et cetera .
Billionaire Donald Trump says the reporters regaling New Yorkers with colossal coverage of his marital strife should be ashamed of themselves. "They have me with women that I never met before," Trump told the New York Daily News in an interview published Sunday.
Britain's Prince Charles won his polo match and an impromptu kiss from a former subject. The prince's Windsor Park polo team defeated White Birch 14-13 in sudden-death overtime to retain the Rolex-Prince of Wales Cup at the Windsor Club polo grounds near Vero Beach. The prince did not score in the match, but earlier received a long kiss on the cheek from British emigre Anita Littler of Miami.