Joan Ingpen, whose death is reported here, was the one and onlie true begetter of the Big Lucy machine, as well as being the unseen force behind Georg Solti. A full account can be found in my book, Covent Garden:The Untold Story, and one of the joys of its research was getting to know Joan over several lunches in Marylebone. She was, by then, well into her 70s, but the memory was sharp as a pin and the tolerance for sloppiness was zero.
Pavarotti was always a bit scared of her, and Solti untypically deferential. She gave as good as she got and never knowingly foisted a dud artist on the innocent public. Now of how many concert agents and casting managers can that be said?