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1921 __ One day I sang over the telephone
Comment : « One day I sang over the telephone to a little girl who was too ill to attend the opera. This incident caused a big stir. The American Press stated that the telephone girl heard of my intention, and she told a few other girls to “listen in”, and that by the time I began ta large audience was waiting at telephones all over New York to hear me sing the mad scene from Lucia. Just then there were more “engaged” wires than usual in New York, and these, said the Press, “remained engaged until the last of the trills, runs and pyrotechnical cadenzas had passed into memory”. But the Kansas City Post, instead of publishing this story, elected to be sceptical, and declared that "Madame Tetrazzini has a Press agent who deserves a severe calling down. He has taken liberties with a story that has been told the same way for twenty-five years and has been laid at the door of every great singer in the world. By slightly altering the tale so as to make it appear new, perhaps he has spoiled it. That isn't the way to tell a story. Nobody would sing that scene to a sick woman. Here is the way," says the dictatorial writer, "to tell it, the way it has always been told: 'A prominent society woman, a friend of Tetrazzini, got into a dispute with her friend as to the words of an old folk-song, a lullaby. She called up Madame, who graciously sang it into the 'phone from start to finish. At the same time a call came in notifying the telephone girl that her aunt was dying of a combination of lumbago and liver complaint. She immediately plugged on the sick room with the singer's apartments at St. Begis. The dying woman, listening to the sweetest music she had ever heard, took a new grip on life.' The Press agent who tries to invent a new story takes his reputation in his hands. The old ones are the safest and best"». (Madama Luiza Tetrazzini, “My Life of Song”, London: Cassell, 1921, p. 275-276)
Urls : http://www.archive.org/stream/mylifeofsong017544mbp/mylifeofsong017544mbp_djvu.txt (last visited )

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