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The Retirement Of Sembrich

Coincident with the disgusting sensationalism of the New York production of “Salome” came the retirement of Mme. Marcella Sembrich from the operatic stage on Feb. 6th. No more remarkable scene has ever been witnessed in opera. Twenty-five years in America had endeared her to thousands of Americans.

Her entire career has been one of noble aims, high ideals and abundant generosity. No wonder she was greeted with gifts from her friends and admirers that would have staggered the imagination of an empress. The American people had not forgotten that at the time of the San Francisco earthquake she hurried to New York and gave a recital for the benefit of the sufferers which netted several thousand dollars. They have not forgotten her beautiful home life nor her charming and gracious personality.

Ex-Mayor Seth Low, in presenting her with the gifts of thousands of admirers, did well to emphasize the fact that she was honored and admired because of her fidelity to the highest ideals of womanhood. Her life should be a lesson to those artists who imagine that desirable publicity can only come through being connected with sensational matters which should only be aired in the police courts.

During Mme. Sembrich’s artistic career in New York many singers have come and gone. Some of them have had phenomenal voices, others have been remarkable actors, but none has had this singer’s remarkable magnetism and personality, with the possible exception of Mme. Schuman-Heink. It is good to see that a career such as that of Mme. Sembrich meets with real appreciation. It gives us material to fight those cynics and pessimists who contend that it is useless for the artist to live an upright, conscientious life.


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