The on dit goes that Barbra Streisand had hoped to join the world’s three greatest tenors, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, in song in Los Angeles at the closing ceremonies of World Cup soccer, but it was not to be — and not for lack of Streisand’s trying. You see, Domingo and Carreras have a relationship with Diana Ross (remember the Christmas album they made in Vienna two years ago?), and Barbra is due to make a video and an album with Pavarotti, who, incidentally, was all for the idea of the foursome trilling away in a single body. (Not his). Maybe the plot sounds as complicated as “The Marriage of Figaro,” but the bottom line is the world will get the three greatest tenors all by their lonesomes with no “Susanna.”

The on dit in Europe has the Iglesias family, Julio and his pretty daughter, Chabeli, battling the gossips. “Julio is vexed and vigorously denying reports that he has a form of skin cancer,” goes the story, and Chabeli is on a second honeymoon with her husband, Ricardo Bofill, and irate over rumors their marriage is shaky. It takes a long, long time — maybe forever — to realize that when you taste fame, sometimes it’s bitter. End of moral.

But let’s look at the light side. The continental crowd at the River Cafe says Julio is singing his love songs to a beautiful young blonde called Miranda something, his new romance. Although they didn’t seem to know her last name, they were sure that she’s 22 and that she’s already taken him home to meet the folks in Amsterdam. Wonder where they read that. Of course, right now he’s in the U.S. meeting the folks in America.

Also fodder for tattle-tales is the news that Margaret Thatcher’s son Mark, reportedly plagued by big problems in both his marriage and his business, is being consoled by Debbie Milner, an attractive, dark-haired employee at his Houston-based company. “She idolizes him,” says one big mouth. “She follows him like a puppy dog.” Sit.

Oh, my dears, have you heard the latest? You can put away the long lenses because Monaco’s Princesses Caroline and Stephanie have decided NOT to bathe topless anymore. No word on Prince Albert.

The mysterious disappearance of the controversial British nobleman, Lord Lucan, following the murder of his childrens’ nanny 20 years ago, will be the subject of a TV docudrama and a big movie, both currently in preparation. Maybe somebody should speak to Nancy Holmes of Worth magazine, whose novel of several years ago, based on this lurid story, was a rip-roarer.

Lucky Miramax landed the world’s hottest new British actor, Hugh Grant. The star of “Sirens” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” will play the title role in “The Englishman Who Went Up the Hill But Came Down the Mountain.” You cannot imagine the list of actresses that want to go up and down with him.

Georgette Mosbacher gathered her best girlfriends together for a country/western chorus line at Denim and Diamonds to benefit Childhelp USA. Among the city slickers kicking up their heels were such as Cornelia Bregman, Anne Bass, Sale Johnson, Gayfryd Steinberg, Barbara Bancroft, Mary Meehan, Lyn Paulsin and — well, you get the picture. They all wore red leather fringed skirts and vests and black cowboy boots from Texas’s own RJ Boots, personalized with their initials and an American flag. To be sure that nothing showed that shouldn’t when they did those high kicks during the line dance, the little ladies wore black leotards under their skirts. Gol-dang!

Everyone chowed down on Tex Mex and rushed to the floor to learn the Achy-Breaky. They were still stompin’ past 11 o’clock, and the Mayor and Donna Giuliani (she was the honorary chairman of the even-ing) hung around to cheer them on.

Peggy and David Rockefeller entertained for the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Metropolitan Museum the other evening, but it was Peggy and David, the Museum of Modern Art’s chairman emeritus, who were honored at MoMA’s Party in the Garden, where their magnificent collection of paintings from Manet to Picasso is on exhibit. Many thought it was the best of MoMA’s annual garden parties, with a delectable menu planned by Glorious Food and Robert Isabell working his wiles with roses, hurricane lamps and Japanese lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

After dinner, masses of the best-dressed, best-looking young people crowded in, something you don’t see very often these New York nights, now that the stay-up-laters have gotten so slobby. In the crowd were such as Agnes Gund, the head of MoMA, in pink with a multicolored pastel jacket; Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder (in a beautiful black lace Geoffrey Beene); Patty and Gustavo Cisneros; Carroll Petrie; Emelia and Pepe Fanjul; Jeanne Thayer; Evelyn and Leonard Lauder; Hilary and Joe Califano; Brooke Astor; Kimberly and Stephen Rockefeller; Jerry Zipkin; Anne Cox Chambers with Bill Banks; Libet and Christopher Kennan, and many more just like them, including Eleanor McCollum in from Houston for a few days. Eleanor is spearheading the July 7 launch in Houston of the new ORBIS International DC-10, the flying eye hospital originated by her late husband, the oilman McCollum. ORBIS has saved the sight of 18,000 patients in 65 developing countries and trained 28,000 doctors and nurses in those countries. There was some talk that the Duchess of York had been invited to christen the new plane on July 7, but nobody knows for sure yet if that will happen.

Brooke Astor swept into Tatou and turned heads the other night in her little black sheath and gold jacket. The evening, of which Brooke was the honorary chairman, was a benefit for the Academy of American Poets. In the crowd were the Folger coffee heiress Lyn Chase (Chevy’s stepmother), Arthur Schlesinger, Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. and master of ceremonies George Plimpton. Everyone laughed and giggled over Calvin Trillin’s bipartisan poetry which skewered Bill and Hillary and George Bush. Andrea Marcovici sang Irving Berlin tunes and then Brooke led off the dancing that didn’t end until midnight. Stavros Niarchos and Henry Luce III couldn’t make it but sent fat checks. If you can’t make it in the flesh, it’s the only way really.

Yes, President Clinton helped Peter Max open his “Pop to Patriotism” show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, which included Max’s monumental iconographic renditions of the Statue of Liberty, the American flag and, yes, the “100 Clintons” Max created for the 1993 inauguration. Also on view was his dynamic four portrait installation of a young John Glenn in full astronaut gear, entitled “Homage to an American Hero.” And, yes, the opening was a benefit for Sen. John Glenn to help him raise the heroic $500,000 needed to pay off the senator’s 1984 presidential campaign debt.

The family of Mary Woodard Lasker, the great philanthropist whose courage and vision made possible great strides in medicine, is inviting her friends to a tribute in celebration of her life next Thursday at four in the afternoon at the Caspary Auditorium at Rockefeller University. There will be a reception following the Tribute at Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall. Mary Lasker was one of the truly splendid women of our time, and because she was unique, her death left a void that perhaps can never be filled.

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