“This is my twenty-second season in opera. I have a repertoire of about one hundred and twenty roles, in most of which I have sung many times in Italy. Some I wish might be brought out at the Metropolitan. Verdi’s Don Carlos, for instance, has a beautiful baritone part; it is really one of the fine operas, though it might be considered a bit old-fashioned to-day. Still I think it would be a success here. I am preparing several new parts for this season; one of them is the Tschaikowsky work—Eugene Onegin. So you see I am constantly at work.
“My favorite operas? I think they are these”; and Mr. De Luca hastily jotted down the following: Don Carlos, Don Giovanni, Hamlet, Rigoletto, Barbier, Damnation of Faust, and last, but not least, Tannhauser.
Asked if he considered appreciation for music had advanced during his residence in America, his answer was emphatically in the affirmative.
“The other evening I attended a reception of representative American society, among whom were many frequenters of the Metropolitan. Many of them spoke to me of the opera Marouf. I was surprised, for this modern French opera belongs to the new idiom, and is difficult to understand. ‘Do you really like the music of Marouf?’ I asked. ‘Oh, yes indeed,’ every one said. It is one of my longest parts, but not one of my special favorites.
“In the summer! Ah, I go back to my beloved Italy almost as soon as the Metropolitan season closes. I could sing in Buenos Aires, as the season there follows the one here. But I prefer to rest the whole time until I return. I feel the singer needs a period of rest each year. To show you how necessary it is for the singer to do daily work on the voice, I almost feel I cannot sing at all during the summer, as I do no practicing, and without vocalizes one cannot keep in trim. If I am asked to sing during vacation, I generally refuse. I tell them I cannot sing, for I do not practice. It takes me a little while after I return, to get the vocal apparatus in shape again.
“Thus it means constant study, eternal vigilance to attain the goal, then to hold what you have attained and advance beyond it if possible.”
Luisa Tetrazzini has been called the greatest exponent of coloratura singing that we have at the present time. Her phenomenal successes in various quarters of the globe, where she has been heard in both opera and concert, are well known, and form pages of musical history, full of interest. This remarkable voice, of exquisite quality and development, is another proof that we have as beautiful voices to-day, if we will but realize the fact, as were ever known or heard of in the days of famous Italian songsters.