OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 17, 1913, Image 19

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-04-17/ed-1/seq-19/

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ficing parents in Three Rivers or
Pond du. Lac. -
She has been two or three times
to the Metropolitan. She has heard"
that Caruso :gets .$2,500 for every
evening that he sings,, and that stars
or lesser magnitude-get from $400 to
Yes, the grandopera. singers dpjet
Dig money, some qi inem op taKe
tidy little sums home with' them.;
But nothing'like what. Miss. liusic
Student imakinesj
Did it ever strike .you jthdt it'jcostsi
money to sing m .grarid "opera?, Ift
does. Only a -portion of. jhat ;big
salary belongs to the smger. The
rest belongs to; well, -'read what a
wbjnan w'o sang , in-grand opera
more than ten years has to say: She
is now in vaudevillei ."She does not,
get so much" salary,- but. what she
does get is pretty hearlySll hers.
By Marie McFarlanV.
A grand' opera salary is not what
it seems to be.
Let us say that a soprano, or con
tralto receives $1,000 a performance.
"That is, perhaps, the. average figure
for a star. " The' few very great ones
get more; others receive less, down to
$400 or $500 a night
But let us take the case of k(wo
v man who has worked .her way up to
' the figure named. Forty perform
ances a season is the usual number.
That completes a contract The sin
ger may not appear in concert during
jthe season without special permis
sion, and that is seldom asked.
So the' star receives, we will say,
$40,000 for "'the American season of
five months. A lot of money, yes.
Now let us see where it has to go.
Living expenses, $300 a week. An
opera star as to keep up appear
ances. She must.have a costly apart
ment, servants, personal maids, flow-,
ers;- she must entertain she!, must
spend. The sum named, about'"$6,00p
for the season, is byino means un
usual. Subscriptions to charities at least .
$2,000 a season. Society womende
mand"these subscriptions to'theirpet
enterprises. -.They must be placated.
Two thousand dollars to coaches
and accompanists..
At Jgast athousand to thethroat
.specialist
. "A thousand -distributed among the
working staff and attaches of the
, opera -house. It is customary.
-.A thousand dbllars to the musical
papers for .display advertising. This
also is customary. .
i Ten per cent to the musical agency
or agent that "placed her.. A $4,000
item.
; PersonaLpress agenjt, $2,000. Can't
get along withdut him.-
Steamship tickets arid jrther trav
eling expenses, another thousand.
Here is $20,000 gone-half the sal
ary. Out of the remainder the star
has to live the other seven months,
of the year, buy clothes and SAVE
what she can. T
I, 'dp not say that a grand opera
star cannot, save anything. Of course,
she can. But I do say she cannot put
by a fortune in a career -.of a few
years, as one might think; who reads
only the figures in which "grand opera
salaries appear. I know, for I have
been, through" it
Ten vears to eet to One of those
salaries, ten years to draw it and save
what you can out of it, ten years of
g'e'nteel decadence, then
.Many a. played-out opera star is
earning her hying as a teacher.
Some of the best boarding houses in
Paris are -'conducted by fapaous sing
ers of years gone by. .
There are some; of course, who
save more than 'others, "who wisely
invest what they save and become
rich.- Theyarer the exceptions. The
others provi the rule that a grand
opera salary is largely a grand delu
'Rah for Boston Waiters' Union!
It declared it wouldn't feed strike
breakers, hired to take the places of
the telephone girls.. "... C.

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