Royal Opera, Jussi Bjorling, John Forsell, David Stockman


There ,,vas a feeling in the air that something sensational was happening from the very first day Jussi Bjorling came to the Royal Opera. People who throughout their lives had had the advantage of being able to listen to good singing became aware at once that this plump young man with the fine eyes and attractive hair-line had a voice of incomparable radiance. I am not old enough to remember the years before Jussi's debut at the Opera when a singer such as Battistini would give guest performances, when John Forsell was at the height of his singing career, when the young David Stockman charmed the public with his bright Nordic voice. But I can clearly recall how Jussi Bjorling became, from almost his first day at the Royal Opera, the most brilliant jewel in the rare crown of fine singers who were at that time performing at the house. Everyone had the feeling that something unusual was happening. There was something almost mysterious about this young man who appeared not to be conscious of how divine was this voice which resided within him. The other singers and the theatre staff, who were not usually impressed by anything, stood in the wings night after night to listen to Jussi's singing. It was as though everyone sensed that he would not stay with us for long.

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