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Operatic Voices.

W. J. Henderson clears  up some of the fog of adulation that exists around the present-day opera-singers. He writes in his department of the New York Times: The unthinking worship of the opera-singer has its origin in the supposition that the best singers in the world go upon the operatic stage. The course of reasoning is something like this: These people get about ten times as much for singing as good concert-singers get, and we pay $5 a seat to hear them. Therefore, they must be greater singers than those who sing for $50 or $100, and whom we can hear for a dollar. This is a part of that state which Henry T. Finck felicitously describes as “Jumboism in art.” It is not correct to suppose that the best singers in the world go upon the operatic stage. The largest and most brilliant voices usually go there. The singing of operatic rôles requires certain physical attributes not accorded to all persons possessed of singing voices and artistic natures. For the grand dramatic parts, big, powerful voices and physical structures capable of enduring immense exertion are necessary. Slight men and women with small, sweet voices are not suited to labor of this sort. No matter how well they can sing, the volume of tone required and the long-continued effort of heavy operatic rôles are too much for them.

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