Presently the great tenor opened the door and entered. He wore a lounging coat of oriental silk, red bordered, and on the left hand gleamed a wonderful ring, a broad band of dull gold, set with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. He shook hands, said he had read my story, that it was quite correct and had his entire approval.
“And have you a final message to the young singers who are struggling and longing to sing some day as wonderfully as you do?”
“Tell them to study, to work always,—and—to sacrifice!”
His eyes had a strange, inscrutable light in them, as he doubtless recalled his own early struggles, and life of constant effort.
And so take his message to heart:
“To measure the importance of Geraldine Farrar (at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York) one has only to think of the void there would have been during the last decade, and more, if she had not been there. Try to picture the period between 1906 and 1920 without Farrar—it is inconceivable! Farrar, more than any other singer, has been the triumphant living symbol of the new day for the American artist at the Metropolitan. She paved the way. Since that night, in 1906, when her Juliette stirred the staid old house, American singers have been added year by year to the personnel. Among these younger singers there are those who will admit at once that it was the success of Geraldine Farrar which gave them the impetus to work hard for a like success.”
[Illustration: Geraldine Farrar]
These thoughts have been voiced by a recent reviewer, and will find a quick response from young singers all over the country, who have been inspired by the career of this representative artist, and by the thousands who have enjoyed her singing and her many characterizations.
I was present on the occasion of Miss Farrar’s debut at the greatest opera house of her home land. I, too, was thrilled by the fresh young voice in the girlish and charming impersonation of Juliette. It is a matter of history that from the moment of her auspicious return to America she has been constantly before the public, from the beginning to end of each operatic season. Other singers often come for part of the season, step out and make room for others. But Miss Farrar, as well as Mr. Caruso, can be depended on to remain.
Any one who gives the question a moment’s thought, knows that such a career, carried through a score of years, means constant, unremitting labor. There must be daily work on vocal technic; repertoire must be kept up to opera pitch, and last and perhaps most important of all, new works must be sought, studied and assimilated.
The singer who can accomplish these tasks will have little or no time for society and the gay world, inasmuch as her strength must be devoted to the service of her art. She must keep healthy hours, be always ready to appear, and never disappoint her audiences. And such, according to Miss Farrar’s own words is her record in the service of art.