The real exertion in the case of an opera singer lies not so much in her singing as in her acting of a role, for nearly every modern opera makes great dramatic and physical demands.
It is hard to describe the thrill of creative joy which the artist feels when the conviction seizes her that at last she has caught the very soul of the character she wishes to portray, in the music and action which reveal it.
My chance, when it came, was due, literally, to the fact that I was slender.... You cannot make an opera audience believe that a man will endanger his soul, and commit robbery and murder for a very stout lady's sake.
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