Galli-Curci remarks: "Perhaps, in vocal mastery, the greatest factor of all is the breathing. To control the breath is what each student is striving to learn, what every singer endeavors to perfect, what every artist should master. It is an almost endless study and an individual one, because each organism and mentality is different."
Perhaps there is no singer who more thoroughly believes in the gospel of work, and surely not one who more consistently practices what she preaches, than Amelita Galli-Curci. She knows the value of work, and she loves it for its own sake. There is no long cessation for her, during summer months, "to rest her voice."
When you have mentioned Galli-Curci, Tetrazzini, Barrientos, and Frieda Hempel the last is both lyric and coloratura you have named all the great ones who are known to us here in America. There are a couple of younger artists, Garrison and Macbeth, who are rapidly gaining the experience which will one day place them in the charmed circle. Consider for an instant the three first named singers.
There seems a divergence of opinion as to what vowels are most beneficial in technical practice and study. Galli-Curci says: "In my own study I use them all, though some are more valuable than others. The Ah is the most difficult of all. The O is good; E needs great care. I have found the best way is to use mixed vowels, one melting into the other.
Its millionaires had their golf club, their high-powered cars, their smart social functions. They were always running down to Chicago to hear Galli-Curci; and when it came to costume diamond bracelet, daring decolletage, large feather fans, and brilliant-buckled slippers you couldn't tell their women from the city dwellers. There is much money in paper mills and plough works.
And the young people at the Lodge had a way of gathering in the dark upon the wide steps and strumming chords and warbling strange strains about intimate emotions. And as Maria Angelina's voice rose with the rest her gift was discovered. "Gosh, the little Wop's a Galli-Curci," was John Byrd's aside to Bob.
"You certainly have mastered English remarkably well," I could not help remarking, for she was speaking with great fluency, and with hardly any accent. This seemed to please her, for she gave me one of those flashing smiles. "Would you be pleased," I asked, "if later on your voice should develop into a dramatic soprano?" Mme. Galli-Curci thought an instant.
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. Robinson visited India in 1939, and were honored guests at the Ranchi school. Galli-Curci and her husband, Homer Samuels, the pianist, have been Kriya Yoga students for twenty years.
For music requires both. As for sacrifices, they really do not exist, if they promote the thing you honestly love most. You must never stop studying, for there is always so much to learn." "I have developed my voice through arduous toil," to quote Mme. Galli-Curci.
It is to be noted that Nellie Melba and Amelita Galli-Curci are absolutely unfitted to sing in music dramas even so early as those of Richard Wagner; Dukas, Strauss, and Stravinsky are utterly beyond them. Even Adelina Patti and Marcella Sembrich appeared in few, if any, new works of importance. They had no bearing on the march of musical history.