Notes from a new world

June 17, 2019

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It wasn’t easy for Elton John to get producers to keep all the scenes in his new fantasy-biopic, “Rocketman.” He was determined that the Paramount film not gloss over his sexuality or past drug use. Despite his efforts, Russia’s version appears to be missing about five minutes-worth of footage. . Also, we meet the American singer who teaches Italian kids how to sing like Beyoncé; plus the story of how Lucia Lucas became the first transgender person to sing a lead part in a standard operatic work in the US; why Lincoln, Nebraska is a great place to hear traditional Yazidi music; and Filipina-American musician Ruby Ibarra tells her family story with rap. (Elton John (R) and David Furnish attend the "Rocketman" UK Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom. Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)