After our conference, I thanked her for giving me an hour from her crowded day. She took my hand and pressed it warmly in both hers.
“Please do not quite forget me, Madame.”
“Indeed not, will you forget me?”
“No, I shall always remember this delightful hour.”
“Then, you see, I cannot forget you!” and she gave my hand a parting squeeze.
A singer of finished art and ripe experience is Antonio Scotti. His operatic career has been rich in development, and he stands to-day at the top of the ladder, as one of the most admired dramatic baritones of our time.
One of Naples’ sons, he made a first appearance on the stage at Malta, in 1889. Successful engagements in Milan, Rome, Madrid, Russia and Buenos Aires followed. In 1899 he came to London, singing Don Giovanni at Covent Garden. A few months thereafter, he came to New York and began his first season at the Metropolitan. His vocal and histrionic gifts won instant recognition here and for the past twenty years he has been one of the most dependable artists of each regular season.
[Illustration: [handwritten note] To Miss Harriette Brower Cordially A Scotti New York 1920]
With all his varied endowments, it seldom or never falls to the lot of a baritone to impersonate the lover; on the contrary it seems to be his metier to portray the villain. Scotti has been forced to hide his true personality behind the mask of a Scarpia, a Tonio, an Iago, and last but not least, the most repulsive yet subtle of all his villains—Chim-Fang, in L’Oracolo. Perhaps the most famous of them all is Scarpia. But what a Scarpia, the quintessence of the polished, elegant knave! The refinement of Mr. Scotti’s art gives to each role distinct characteristics which separate it from all the others.
Mr. Scotti has done and is doing much for the young American singer, by not only drilling the inexperienced ones, but also by giving them opportunity to appear in opera on tour. To begin this enterprise, the great baritone turned impresario, engaged a company of young singers, most of them Americans, and, when his season at the Metropolitan was at an end, took this company, at his own expense, on a southern trip, giving opera in many cities.