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Music: Somersault

1 minute read

In Copenhagen, Maria Jeritza (Baroness von Popper), famed “golden” soprano of the Metropolitan, sang in Tosca twice, Carmen once, Tannhauser once. Contrary to their polite custom of appearing at only one performance in an operatic series, the King and Queen of Denmark, dressed in their bravest regalia, sat in their box every time Jeritza sang. The King gave the singer a decoration encased in a gold medallion and asked her to attend an intimate family party at the palace after her first performance. This Mme. von Popper did with dignity and delight.

In Paris, Maria Jeritza arrived after leaving Copenhagen, looking so healthy and beautiful with her five-feet-eleven, her 160 pounds of bone and muscle, that excited friends gathered to inquire how she preserved her excellent physical condition. With a gay laugh, the large diva took the ladies of her acquaintance into her hotel bedroom and proceeded to show them. She rolled about on the floor, flinging her long legs in the air. She turned many somersaults, laughing heartily. “There,” she said at last, panting and flushed, “that is what I do. That keeps me thin and agile.”

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