It makes one a better person to have had hardships and to have overcome hardships and not to blame anybody else for your mistakes.
That is what I always tell service clubs: If you hear of somebody who is very young and talented, pick them up and give them that little assistance to make sure that they get to the professional stage.
Perhaps, once I am gone, the one thing I might be remembered for is having sung a great deal of Mahler with a great many phenomenal conductors. It is wonderful music, very spiritual.
My book has a lot of parts of my life that people don't know about.
Making a living in the arts, though, creates so many jobs for other people.
If somebody asks me to recommend a young, good singer, I always do.
I was born in Montreal and came from a lower-middle-class family.
I have had five phenomenal children, a great husband and, even though we are separated, we are good friends.
I had a wonderful childhood, but I was a wanderer from year one.
By the time I was four, I would walk around the corner and wait at a local streetcar stop, get on the streetcar with somebody who looked like they could be my mother and go to the end of the line.
Another turn in my life happened when I took on the Canada Council.
I have three grandchildren and am hoping for 20.
My mother was a wonderful, wonderful woman with a lovely voice who hated housework, hated cooking even more and loved her children. She was always arranging church activities such as a bazaar.
I have been all over the world. I have met some wonderful people, lots of them very simple, whom nobody will ever hear about, but who have been fabulous to me.
After Bruno Walter, my career went in leaps and bounds. I have had 35 years of a career that is just incredible, and a wonderful time all over the world.
Singing beautiful melodies is one thing, but to deliver the text so that the people understand it, even in a foreign language, has to be worked at very hard.
I thought I should go to New York because it was the place to go to study. I went and tried to get an application from the Juilliard School but they wouldn't even give me one because I didn't have my high school graduation.
Young people can get very discouraged and get hooked on drugs or on alcohol because of problems they perceive as insurmountable. It is important that they realize a mistake need not ruin their future, but they must also know that not everything in life is a bed of roses.
When I started to sing, my mother would have me engaged to perform at the Women's Christian Temperance Union national or annual meetings. I would hate doing this because I wanted to play baseball or go off skiing.
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