From Johnson's Kids to Lemonade Opera:
The American Classical Singer Comes of Age
Victoria Etnier Villamil / 2004
Northeastern University Press/ ISBN 1555536352
This is a wonderful overview of the American classical music scene when
our native-born singers were just beginning to gain recognition on their own stages.
How sad that, like the early ballet dancers, they often had to change their names
and appear "imported" to be accepted by American audiences, who still thought
that only Germany, Italy or France could produce a true bel canto voice.
Although Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's picture appears on the cover,
don't expect a glossy cover of Hollywood operettas. The author is more concerned
with getting the little-known names from the period 1900-1950 chronicled here.
And rightly so. By her reckoning, too many were forced from the stage into a life of
teaching or domesticity by the lack of interest in their work, no matter how stellar.
Opera especially is an acquired taste, and few Americans had (or have today) the
patience or background knowledge to acquire it. Too many voices, too few opera houses.
dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.3 in / 1.4 lb / 336 pages