Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Confessions of an Opera Singer   By: (1884-1956)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: Photo of Kathleen Howard, Autographed]

CONFESSIONS OF AN OPERA SINGER

BY KATHLEEN HOWARD

NEW YORK MCMXVIII

ALFRED A. KNOPF

COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY KATHLEEN HOWARD BAIRD

Published September 1918

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

To Marjorie

FOREWORD

So many fantastic tales have come to us of students' life abroad, of their temptations, trials, finances, successes and failures, that I have attempted to give here the true story of the preparation for an operatic career, and its fruition. My road leads from New York to Paris, to Germany and thence to London, and back to the Metropolitan Opera House. My operatic experiences in Germany are inalienably associated with the lives of the people, particularly with the German officer class, viewed publicly and privately; in fact in the town where I was first engaged, Metz, I found they were as vital a part of the Opera house life as the singers themselves. Their arrogance tainted the town life as well, and here I first became acquainted with the pitiful attempt at swagger and brilliancy which often covered a state of grinding poverty, or the thwarted natural domestic instincts which were ruthlessly sacrificed to the "uniform" the all desirable entrée to society, for which no price was too high to pay. I hope this book will be of interest not only to those whose goal is the operatic or concert stage, but to those to whom "human documents" appeal. It is a story of real people, real obstacles overcome, and contains much intimate talk of back stage life in opera houses.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I THE WAY IT ALL HAPPENED 13

II A STRUGGLE AND A SOLUTION 21

III PARIS AT LAST 30

IV PENSION PERSONALITIES 39

V OPERATIC FRANCE VERSUS OPERATIC GERMANY 50

VI PREPARING RÔLES IN BERLIN 59

VII MY FIRST OPERATIC CONTRACT SIGNED 67

VIII MY ONE LONE IMPROPOSITION 76

IX THE MAKINGS OF A SMALL MUNICIPAL OPERA HOUSE 85

X MY DÉBUT AND BREAKING INTO HARNESS 100

XI SOME STAGE DELIGHTS 110

XII MISPLACED MOISTURE AND THE STORY OF A COURT LADY 123

XIII HUMAN PASSIONS AND SMALLPOX 139

XIV DISCOURAGEMENTS THAT LED TO A COURT THEATRE 153

XV SALARIES AND A TENOR'S GENIUS 164

XVI THE ART OF MARIE MUELLE 172

XVII THE NON MILITARY SIDE OF A GERMAN OFFICER'S LIFE 184

XVIII GEESE AND GUESTS 199

XIX RUSSIANS, COMMON AND PREFERRED 206

XX THE GRANDMOTHERS' BALLET 220

XXI STAGE FASHIONS AND THE GLORY OF COLOUR 230

XXII ROYAL HUMOUR 242

XXIII COVENT GARDEN AND AMERICA 257

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Kathleen Howard Frontispiece

I Carmen as I Used to Dress It 76

II Carmen as I Now Dress It 84

I Amneris as I Used to Dress It 126

II Amneris as I Now Dress It 134

I Dalila as I Used to Dress It 172

II Dalila as I Now Dress It 180

Caruso's Caricature of Kathleen Howard 260

CHAPTER I

THE WAY IT ALL HAPPENED

I was very young and I was engaged to be married. We had just lost our money in rather dramatic fashion, and we were all doing what we could to supply the sudden deficit. My sister began to prepare herself to be a teacher, my brother left his boarding school and came home to go into a friend's office, and I well, I accepted the hand and heart of the young man in our set with whom I had had most pleasure in dancing in winter and sailing in summer... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books