BY WARREN BOROSON
Born in Farmington, Maine, she may have been the first American opera singer to become famous all over the world. She was the first American opera singer to sing at Wagner’s opera house, in Bayreuth. And some consider her the most glamorous opera singer of all time - surpassing even Geraldine Ferrer. As for her voice, a music professor described it as “indescribably magnificent.” A music critic said her voice was “as beautiful, as smooth, as mellow, velvety and luscious as the voice of any prima donna I have ever heard.”
She sang everywhere, including, of course, the Metropolitan Opera. Early in her career, audiences in Europe went crazy about her singing. After one concert, members of the orchestra, along with a crowd, followed her to her hotel and serenaded her until 1 a.m. Other admirers sent her rare jewels. One particular admirer, without having even met her at the time, sent her a check for $10,000!