"Look. It is like one big family ... everybody my brother, everybody my sister."
December 24, 2010 4:27 PM   Subscribe

On Christmas Eve, exactly 100 years ago, Luisa Tetrazzini, the most famous opera singer of her day, sang in the streets of San Francisco as a gift to the city she loved. 250,000 people, most of them survivors of the 1906 earthquake listened in silence as she began with "The Last Rose of Summer," then sang along as she ended with "Auld Lang Syne."
posted by williampratt (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, so there is a God after all.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 4:58 PM on December 24, 2010

I wondered how 250,000 people able to hear her. The article has this:

"I was two blocks away," he wrote years later, "and every note was crystal clear, every word distinct."

Tetrazzini sang for a half hour. There were no microphones in those days. "It was sweet, clear and pure in all its artless beauty," Fredrick Wood wrote in The Chronicle on Christmas Day.

posted by zippy at 5:24 PM on December 24, 2010

That voice, and the inspiration for my favorite casserole. Ah, life.
posted by sonascope at 7:07 PM on December 24, 2010

Bonus points for anyone who turns up tonight with a casserole dish of steaming turkey tetrazzini.
posted by vickyverky at 7:23 PM on December 24, 2010

"Auld Lang Syne" (with link to a 1910 recording). Robert Burns most famous poem. Most people sing it, in an appropriate drunken drawl on New Years eve, not knowing the author, or that it's Scot for "for (the sake of) old times".
posted by stbalbach at 7:31 PM on December 24, 2010

..or Scots even..
posted by stbalbach at 7:32 PM on December 24, 2010

250,000 people, most of them survivors of the 1906 earthquake listened in silence...

What's the last line of the Australian national anthem?

Carn the 'pies!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:28 AM on December 25, 2010

That's absolutely beautiful. Thank you.
posted by nicolin at 3:31 AM on December 26, 2010

"a monumental microcosm of humanity itself ... bootblacks rubbed elbows with bankers and painted creatures with fat and wholesome mothers of families." It's so funny that fat = wholesome and makeup = outcast. How times change!
posted by maiamaia at 12:08 PM on December 27, 2010

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