“I will sing in San Francisco if I have to sing in the streets, for I know that the streets of San Francisco are free.”

It was 1910. San Francisco was still in a bad way following the great earthquake and conflagration of 1906, and in fact, the whole decade had been kind of rough. The brightest spot without question in this opera-mad city had been the sudden emergence of the zaftig soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, the “Florentine Nightingale”. She rose to prominence in San Francisco, but talent and fame soon took her away to the bright lights of the world’s great stages.

On Christmas Eve of that year, however, she finally came back… and it was magic.

For further edification:
» bio, beautiful photos and sound recordings
» short bio and sound
» biographical book review at SF Museum.org
» Monadnock building murals
» chicken Tetrazzini recipe

random episode from the archives:
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thanks to Martin Herzberg for the use of “Walk for Change”, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network.