Cher Public

Tuesdays with Mary

Miss Garden smiled. “You probably have never seen a thin Violetta,” she exclaimed. “You’ll find that that will make a difference.”  Inaugurating a new feature on parterre, dedicated to the wit and wisdom of Mary Garden, as recorded by the journalists of her day.

  • What a delightful idea for a new feature.

    • Perhaps Mary can have occasional visitors! Gotta save some room for Zinka’s Zingers.

  • E-news

    “Why don’t you help bury Traviata? It has long been dead.”


  • manou

    “…a most interesting face”. Hmm -- I bet she was delirious about this “compliment”.

    My favourite though is “an anomaly of a dog”.

  • tannengrin

    Oh, Mary! She sounds like the inspiration for the beloved Mawrdew Czgowchwz.

    How much more progressive, in a way, the conversation seems to have been in 1907. Imagine that exchange about Isolde and the pre-requisite great many love affairs in a MET press conference today. You’d probably be shown the door.

    • manou

      You’d probably be shown the door….or asked for your phone number.

  • Ilka Saro

    I sympathize. When I apostrophize on severed heads, I prefer not to put them on the floor.

  • chicagokok

    Mary Garden lived just a few blocks from my place here in downtown Chicago at the old Blackstone hotel--it is now up and running again since it’s renovation several years ago. I think it is a Radisson property now. I always think of her when I go by it, and wonder which windows belonged to her suite.

  • grimoaldo

    My favourite Mary Garden anecdote --
    She went into a box at an opera house, I don’t remember which one, wearing a stunning strapless evening gown. Another guest in the box, an elderly gentlemen, ogled her and asked “What keeps that dress up, Miss Garden?” to which she replied “Your age and my good taste.”

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    What a marvellous interview. I often sing Salome’s apostrophe in the shower with an aluminum soap dish hoisted above my head.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • grimoaldo

    Bing Crosby interviews Mary Garden ( who corrects him on the pronunciation of Debussy’s name) live on Kraft Music Hall radio, 1937:

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    In the meantime, according to Robert Craft, today’s epicine news — Stravinsky may have been gay (at one time or another): “Here a digression is in order concerning Stravinsky’s friendship with Maurice Ravel, fellow member of Les Apaches, a group of largely gay artists and intellectuals who had taken their name from a Parisian gang of hooligans…. At one of the Firebird rehearsals, Ravel introduced the Russian to his pupil, the epicene Maurice Delage, who became Stravinsky’s lover as well as the surrogate parent for his young children during the composer’s frequent absences.” See

    • ianw2

      Robert Craft’s great ability has been to hitch Stravinsky’s legacy (and his own as de facto conduit) to any passing wagon.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • Feldmarschallin

      Quanto I loved that clip of Liberace. Where and when can that whole movie be seen or is it out already in the States?
      Things usually come out here a few months later.

      • antikitschychick

        Yes I saw it on HBO :-) It was a very good movie….great acting by Michael and Matt.

      • Cocky Kurwenal

        It was made for TV in the states Feldmarschallin, but is being released in cinemas elsewhere. In the UK it has been out for a couple of weeks already.

        • Feldmarschallin

          OK thanks Cocky. Will look for it here soon hopefully.

  • Will

    “Mary Garden’s memory of the high C in La bohème from Nellie Melba’s last London concert: ‘That note came floating over the auditorium of Covent Garden. It left Melba’s throat, it left Melba’s body, it left everything…My God, how beautiful it was!’”

  • Talk of the Town

    “Mary Garden, this is your moment. Tomorrow Paris will be at your feet!”

    --Mary Garden

  • Buster

    Just re-read what Michael Scott wrote about her in the Record of Singing -- fabulous chapter! She was not very tall (little Miss Garden), which I did not know, and a much better singer than her New York critics made her to look like. I only have the records she made with Debussy at the piano, which are irreplacable:

    “I don’t have a voice, I have twenty!”

    Miss Garden