May 4, 2015

Pauline Viardot-García on the Life of an Operatic Artist

Pauline Viardot-García (1821-1910) 
"Mme. Viardot-García," writes a pupil from Paris, "will not bother with the physiology of the voice, except for a suggestion now and then. She is decidedly for singing with the tongue flat, and I find that the t's in Italian, which are so dreadfully hard in English, are much better pronounced by her method. She told me the other day that I had no idea how tired an operatic artist grew of the monotony of the life. For the first two or three years there is excitement, and for the first week of a new opera, but after that the only part that she really enjoyed was learning and creating a new rôle—the study, the looking up in old books of everything pertaining to the history or character of the piece (she especially delights in historical characters); but, after doing the same rôle ten or twelve times, she became like a machine, and then all was drudgery." 

The Voice: Devoted to the Human Voice in All Its Phases, October, 1886: 161

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