Headshot of La Cieca

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Mary Garden as negative space

The singer refuses point blank to discuss the subject.“The postponement of Salome and the consequent nonappearance of Mary Garden at the National Opera this year have set the tongues of operatic gossips wagging and a number more or less amusing stories are circulated in explanation.” [New York Times]

9 comments

  • Porgy Amor says:

    I would not have thought it would be “impossible to produce” Salome without a particular tenor. What am I missing? Is/was Herod ever that much of a draw, or terribly difficult to fill?

    I went Googling for further information, and I found this index entry: “Mary Garden arrives in NY; comments on interview in which Muratore compared her to a floating frog.” This series is a gift that keeps on giving.

    • Indiana Loiterer III says:

      Yes, Herod is a very difficult sing for a tenor, with not much glory in it. Usually the role is taken by clapped-out Heldentenors; but of course, considering that this was early in Salome‘s history, nobody necessarily knew the dangers in advance the way they do now.

  • Ilka Saro says:

    Imagine singing in a crowded, stuffy, hot opera house on a July night! And in those days no shorts or short sleeves allowed. But what I would have given to hear that non-performance!

  • arepo says:

    Hmmm! This lady sure does protect her status, doesn’t she?
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00C16FC3B5512738DDDA90A94D9405B898CF1D3

    • arepo says:

      Sorry, there is no edit button to get rid of the ensuing item on railroad bumps, so enjoy!

  • tannengrin says:

    In the style of a true Salome, maybe Ms Garden offered Muratore some forbidden fruit from her secret garden and that left him temporarily speechless. “Gib mir den Kopf der Koubnezoff!”

  • phoenix says:

    Could the so-called ‘Mme. Kubnezoff’ in this crappy old NYT (things haven’t changed much around there, have they?) article be referring to the great Ukranian soprano Maria Kuznetsova? If so, this again proves that no one should trust NYT for accuracy in matters operatic.
    - Kuznetsova was a far greater singer than that voiceless fraud ‘Mary Garden’, but unfortunately Kuznetsova was not as good a publicist nor a businesswoman as ‘La’ Garden.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Kuznetsova

    and also here:

    http://www.cantabile-subito.de/Sopranos/Kuznetsova__Maria/hauptteil_kuznetsova__maria.html

    From the Ukranian opera ‘Taras Bulba’:

    • Krunoslav says:

      Yes, it was the great Kuznetsova-- also a trained dancer, who, unlike Dancin’ Dani, had a REALLY good voice. An amazing life story, too.

      Kuznetsova premiered the mimed role of Potiphar’s Wife in Strauss’s JOSEPHSLEGENDE (which Bing offered to Callas!)

      She, like the wonderful baritone Georges Baklanoff, is largely forgotten as having been a “Chicago/Manhattan”, not a Met star. Too bad. Only Garden and Raisa — creatrices--seem to have transcended that divide.

  • Mme. Euterpova says:

    “People go to hear Caruso. People go to hear Melba. People come to see me”

    --Mary Garden