Helen E. Hatton


Toronto, radio, Volume V


six of the great singers of this century had a common factor aside from their voices. Caruso, Galli-Curci, Gluck, McCormack, Tauber and Bjoerling were loved by scores of people who were never inside an opera house. Gigli too had this quality but on a more nationalistic basis. The popularity of the first four is understandable in relation to their era. Entertainment was largely homemade, or supplied by phonographs, and a yearly concert by the personification of a recorded voice was a memorable event. Tauber had the advantage of film and radio exposure. That Jussi Bjoerling's many concerts were crowded by people who never heard him in opera is a reflection of his rare qualities, for he sang in a period of wider affluence, and greater sophistication and diversity of entertainment and travel. He was an artist of the highest and most uncompromising quality, but he also had the common touch, an ingratiating manner, and when he sang trifles, he lavished upon them the same care and wealth of detail that he bestowed upon his operatic roles.

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