“And you will surely rest when the arduous season is over?”
“Yes, I will rest when the summer comes, and will return to Italy this year. But even though I seem to rest, I never neglect my vocal practice; that duty and pleasure is always performed.”
And with a charming smile and clasp of the hand, she said adieu.
=GIUSEPPE DE LUCA=
“A Roman of Rome” is what Mr. Giuseppe De Luca has been named. The very words themselves call up all kinds of enchanting pictures. Sunny Italy is the natural home of beautiful voices: they are her birthright. Her blue sky, flowers and olive trees—her old palaces, hoary with age and romantic story, her fountains and marbles, her wonderful treasures of art, set her in a world apart, in the popular mind. Everything coming from Italy has the right to be romantic and artistic. If it happens to be a voice, it should of necessity be beautiful in quality, rich, smooth, and well trained.
[Illustration: To Mrs. Harriette Brower cordially Giuseppe De Luca]
While all singers who come from the sunny land cannot boast all these qualifications, Mr. De Luca, baritone of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, can do so. Gifted with a naturally fine organ, he has cultivated it arduously and to excellent purpose. He began to study in early youth, became a student of Saint Cecilia in Rome when fifteen years of age, and made his debut at about twenty. He has sung in opera ever since.
In 1915,—November 25th to be exact—De Luca came to the Metropolitan, and won instant recognition from critics and public alike. It is said of him that he earned “this success by earnest and intelligent work. Painstaking to a degree, there is no detail of his art that he neglects or slights—so that one hesitates to decide whether he is greater as a singer or as an actor.” Perhaps, however, his most important quality is his mastery of “bel canto”—pure singing—that art which seems to become constantly rarer on the operatic and concert stage.
“De Luca does such beautiful, finished work; every detail is carefully thought out until it is as perfect as can be.” So remarked a member of the Metropolitan, and a fellow artist.
Those who have listened to the Roman baritone in the various roles he has assumed, have enjoyed his fine voice, his true bel canto style, and his versatile dramatic skill. He has never disappointed his public, and more than this, is ever ready to step into the breach should necessity arise.
A man who has at least a hundred and twenty operas at his tongue’s end, who has been singing in the greatest opera houses of the world for more than twenty years, will surely have much to tell which can help those who are farther down the line. If he is willing to do so, can speak the vernacular, and can spare a brief hour from the rush of constant study and engagement, a conference will be possible. It was possible, for time was made for it.