The Funeral Singer
The close friendship between Nancy and Ronald Reagan and Lynn and Oscar Wyatt played out at the funeral of the former first lady which had a beautiful Houston connection.
When Nancy Reagan's pre-arranged plans for another famous diva to sing at her funeral fell through, Lynn Wyatt stepped in to help line up Houston-based soprano, Grammy Award-winning Ana María Martínez to perform.
Following the reading of a letter from Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan by former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Martínez sang a moving rendition of "Ava Maria." After Diane Sawyer's reading of John 14:1-6, the star of Houston Grand Opera's recent Rusalka then moved the audience with Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Pie Jesu-Requiem."
As fate would have it, Martínez was already in Los Angeles, starring in the Los Angeles Opera production of Madame Butterfly.
"She's a fabulous singer, world renowned in the opera world," Wyatt said. "She is so down to earth and accessible. She is the most un-diva diva ever."
During the Reagan presidency, the Wyatts were overnight guests at the White House on three occasions. And Nancy and Lynn exchanged frequent phone calls on weekends.