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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: World-famous Italian soprano praises city during visit

“The golden voice must be preserved,” she said. “I wish it could be packed away in a little box of cotton and left in the hotel so that Tetrazzini could go out and enjoy herself.” (SR archives)
“The golden voice must be preserved,” she said. “I wish it could be packed away in a little box of cotton and left in the hotel so that Tetrazzini could go out and enjoy herself.” (SR archives)

Madame Luisa Tetrazzini, an opera singer so famous that a gourmet dish was named after her, claimed to be captivated by the wintertime charms of Spokane.

The “world’s most famous coloratura soprano” was driven around Spokane on a sunny day and stopped to watch young people skating at Cannon Hill and Manito parks, The Spokesman-Review reported.

“It is so wonderful, beautiful, and so healthy,” she said. “But not for Tetrazzini.”

She put her hand to her “wonderful golden throat and burst into a tinkling torrent of Italian.”

“The golden voice must be preserved,” she said. “I wish it could be packed away in a little box of cotton and left in the hotel so that Tetrazzini could go out and enjoy herself.”

She also enjoyed the Davenport Hotel, new since her last visit.

However, there was one aspect of Spokane that she decried. She would be performing in the same theater she performed in last time.

“”Oh, the same little theater,” she said. “Why does Spokane not have an auditorium like Denver and St. Paul? Then all of the great artists can come and here and sing. Now they shrug their shoulders when Spokane is mentioned and say, ‘Oh, there is no auditorium there, just a little theater.’”

Just to confuse the issue further, Tetrazzini’s concert was actually at the Auditorium Theater, but when she said “auditorium” she meant a big, 4,000-plus capacity municipal auditorium.

She expressed satisfaction when told that Spokane was working on a plan to build a large municipal auditorium.

“Then I’ll come back and sing to you again,” she said.

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