During one of these oases it was a pleasant experience to meet and talk with the charming young singer, in her cozy New York apartment. She had just come in from a six weeks’ trip, which had included concerts in Texas and Mexico, where the usual success had attended her everywhere.
It must surely give a sense of relief to know that the quiet home is awaiting one’s return; that there are to be found one’s favorite books, music, piano, the silken divan, soft lights, pictures,—all the familiar comforts one is deprived of on the road.
The visitor, coming in from the biting winds without, was impressed with the comfort and warmth of the small salon, as the mistress of it entered. Clad in soft draperies of dull blue, which but thinly veiled the white arms and fell away from the rounded throat, Miss Case was just as beautiful to look upon as when she stands in bewildering evening gown before a rapt audience. And, what is much more to the point, she is a thoroughly sensible, sincere American girl, with no frills and no nonsense about her.
After greetings were over, the singer settled herself among the silken cushions of her divan ready for our talk.
“I believe I always wanted to sing, rather than do anything else in the way of music. I studied the piano a little at first, but that did not exactly appeal to me. I also began the violin, because my father is fond of that instrument and wanted me to play it. But the violin was not just what I wanted either, for all the time I longed to sing. Singing is such a part of one’s very self; I wanted to express myself through it. I had no idea, when I started, that I should ever make a specialty of it, or that, in a comparatively few years I should be singing all over the country. I did not know what was before me, I only wanted to learn to sing.
“Now I cannot tell just how I do the different things one must do to sing correctly. I know that, if I have to master some subject, I just sit down and work at that thing till I can do it—till it is done. My teacher knows every organ in the anatomy, and can describe the muscles, bones and ligaments found in the head, face and throat. She can make a diagram of the whole or any part. Not that such knowledge is going to make a singer, but it may help in directing one’s efforts.”
“Can you describe tone placement?” she was asked.
“For the deeper tones—as one makes them—they seem to come from lower down: for the middle and higher tones, you feel the vibrations in facial muscles and about the eyes, always focused forward, just at the base of the forehead, between the eyes. It is something very difficult to put into words; the sensations have to be experienced, when making the tones. The singer must judge so much from sensation, for she cannot very well hear herself. I do not really hear myself; I mean by this I cannot tell the full effect of what I am doing.”