“When the diction is satisfactory, there is yet something much deeper; it is the giving out of one’s best thought, one’s best self, which must animate the song and carry it home to the listener. It touches the heart, because it comes from one’s very inmost being. I am a creature of mood. I cannot sing unless I feel like it. I must be inspired in order to give an interpretation that shall be worth anything.
“In traveling over the country, I have found such wonderful musical growth, and it seems to increase each year. Even in little places the people show such appreciation for what is good. And I only give them good music—the best songs, both classical and modern. Nothing but the best would interest me. In my recent trip, down in Mexico and Oklahoma, there are everywhere large halls, and people come from all the country round to attend a concert. Men who look as though they had driven a grocery wagon, or like occupation, sit and listen so attentively and with such evident enjoyment. I am sure the circulation of the phonograph records has much to do with America’s present wonderful advancement in musical understanding.”
Just here a large cat slipped through the doorway; such a beautiful creature, with long gray and white fur and big blue eyes.
“It is a real chinchilla, of high degree,” said Miss Case, caressing her pet. “I call her Fochette. I am so fond of all animals, especially dogs and cats.”
“You must know the country well, having been over it so much.”
“Yes, but oh, the long distances! It often takes so many hours to go from one place to another. I think there is a reason why foreign singers are apt to be rather stout; they are not worn out by traveling great distances, as cities are so much nearer together than over here!” And Miss Case smiled in amusement. “But, in spite of all discomforts of transportation and so on, the joy of bringing a message to a waiting audience is worth all it costs. I often think, if one could just fly to Chicago or Philadelphia, for instance, sing one’s program and return just as quickly, without all these hours of surface travel, how delightful it would be! I had a wonderful experience in an airplane last summer. Flying has the most salutary effect on the voice. After sailing through the air for awhile, you feel as though you could sing anything and everything, the exhilaration is so great. One takes in such a quantity of pure air that the lungs feel perfectly clear and free. One can learn a lesson about breathing from such an experience.”