Home Music Aretha Franklin Discovers Opera American Idol at Lunch

Aretha Franklin is in New York on her annual holiday. And on Tuesday she got serenaded at lunch.

The Queen of Soul stopped in to Brasserie Ruhlmann in Rockefeller Center with friends for lunch and got a surprise.

“I had a wonderful waiter,” she told me. “He said, You know, I sing the same songs you do.” He didn’t mean “Respect” but Puccini’s “Nessum Dorma.”

“I told him to show me, but sing low. Instead he really opened up. And he’s very talented. You should get over there immediately.”

The waiter in question was Don Catrone. Here he is singing “Nessum Dorma” on YouTube:

The folks at Brasserie Ruhlmann are thrilled. “Everyone clapped,” the manager told me. “And she was very nice. That’s what made it special.”

And Aretha? Still tweaking her new album, looking forward to a release soon.

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