Translated by Richard Aldrich.
ited repertory when she was indisposed. She never attended rehearsals, but came to the theatre in the evening and sang triumphantly, without ever having seen the persons who sang and acted with her. She spared herself rehearsals which, on the day of the performance, or the day before, exhaust all singers, because of the excitement of all kinds attending them, and which contribute neither to the freshness of the voice nor to the joy of the profession.
Although she was a Spaniard by birth and an American by early adoption, she was, so to speak, the greatest Italian singer of my time. All was absolutely good, correct, and flawless, the voice like a bell that you seemed to hear long after its singing had ceased.
Yet she could give no explanation of her art, and answered all her colleagues' questions concerning it with an "Ah, je n'en sais rien!"
She possessed, unconsciously, as a gift of nature, a union of all those qualities that all other singers must attain and possess consciously