Barbara Hendricks had less than three weeks to learn the title role in Cavalli's Calisto when called to substitute for a stricken soprano at the Glyndebourne Festival in England this summer. Her own case of hay fever ameliorated by "prayer and a lot of vitamin C," Hendricks went on to register her most important triumph since emerging from Juilliard a year ago. Praying comes as naturally to Hendricks as singing. The daughter of a Methodist district superintendent in Little Rock, she first hit the boards in a sixth-grade production of Sleeping Beauty when it was discovered she could reach high C. But at the University of Nebraska, where she majored in chemistry and math, she gave no thought to a career in music: "My aim was to stick to the sciences, which is what I did best." Those who heard her sideline singing with a pick-up jazz group and at community fests were not so sure. A summer at the Aspen Music Festival, where she became a protégé of the late Jennie Tourel, convinced Barbara to try for a place at Juilliard. As a senior, she won the first prize for women, having already taken the Mozart Prize in the 1972 Concours de Paris. By operatic standards a mite at 5'3½", Hendricks will leave her New York City home for an engagement with the Chicago Symphony under the direction of Georg Solti later this year. Her preference, however, is for recitals, where the 25-year-old diva can feel: "I'm the boss, it's my show."
Anton Perich, 29, has almost as many spools of video tape cluttering his enormous duplex on New York City's Gramercy Park as there are ringlets of hair coiling their way out of his Medusa's scalp. Some of his tapes record free-wheeling interviews with the likes of Hugh Hefner, Muhammad Ali, or the X-rated Marilyn Chambers. Others document the stripper's art or record soap-opera satires in a frankly blue vein. Incredibly, they are all—except when occasionally blacked out for obscenity—aired on the public access channels of New York's cable TV. "You couldn't put them on anywhere except here," says Perich in his thick Yugoslavian accent. He was born in Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian coast resort, where his parents run a winery. After a spell in Rome and study at the Sorbonne, he came to New York in 1969, infatuated with film and soon to encounter the faster and more candid video tape medium. Enthusiasm for Perich's talent has outstripped his notoriety, and there is talk of an autumn series of tapes on a commercial channel, if anyone would dare sponsor it. In addition, he is under contract for a book of his stills, tentatively titled New York Satyricon, and he contributes a regular column, "Invasion of Privacy," to Interview magazine. But TV remains his first love. "I think television is a very personal thing," explains the poète maudit of video. "You watch it in your bedroom."