November 12, 2010

Singer's Pilgrimage

I've written about Blanche Marchesi on these pages, but haven't mentioned her book Singer's Pilgrimage, which you can read (at least in part) here.  It's an interesting read, as books go, insofar that it gives one a whiff of times past as well as the comings and goings of various persons, especially that of Manuel Garcia, his family, as well as Blanche's parents.  Her mother produced singers like hot cakes, and her father was not to be messed with.  What a family!





While Blanche Marchesi did not have a great voice (she tells the reader that her greatest disappointment in life was in not being a contralto), she did have a modest career before carrying forward the teachings of the Garcia's into the 20th century as a voice teacher. Singer's Pilgrimage doesn't contain that kind of information, but her other work, The Singer's Catechism and Creed does. You will need to find it in a library seeing that it's not yet online.  Both books are worth reading so as to obtain a window into past practices and a world that is no more.  

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