A look around the trio of web sites from this prolific blogger reminded me of a story about a soprano singing on the streets of San Francisco over one hundred years ago.
Memory proved accurate, and I can now suggest another site for piccies next time she’s on Market Street with a camera.
Famed soprano Luisa Tetrazzini (1871 – 1940) loved San Francisco, and had a knack for creative programming. During a contractual dispute on New York City, she reportedly said, “I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing there in the streets, for I know the streets of San Francisco are free.”
On Christmas Eve in 1910 she did just that.
To an audience of somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 San Franciscans, she sang ~ no microphones in those days ~ for 30 minutes. And was heard blocks away. The lady had technique. She had heart.
The concert also recognized the rebuilding of the city after the 1906 earthquake. Her final song was “Auld Lang Syne.”
From all I could gather, the bronze plaque commemorating that concert is still attached to Lotta’s Fountain, on Market at Geary & Kearney.
An artist who used her art to help heal a city.
More reading at Project Gutenberg:
- Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing by Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini
- How to Sing by Lilli Lehmann
- Great Singers on the Art of Singing by James Francis Cooke