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  • The Song of the Lark


    The Song of the Lark is the third novel by American author Willa Cather, written in 1915. It is generally considered to be the second novel in Cather's Prairie Trilogy, following O Pioneers! (1913) and preceding My Ántonia (1918). The book tells the story of a talented artist born in a small town in Colorado who discovers and develops her singing voice. Her story is told against the backdrop of the burgeoning American West in which she was born in a town along the rail line, of fast-growing Chicago near the turn of the twentieth century, and of the audience for singers of her skills in the US compared to Europe. Thea Kronborg grows up, learning herself, her strengths and her talent, until she reaches success. The title comes from a painting of the same name by Jules Breton in 1884 and part of the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

  • Jenny Lind tour of America, 1850–52


    Lind in 1850 The Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, often known as the "Swedish Nightingale" was one of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century. At the height of her fame she was persuaded by the showman P. T. Barnum to undertake a long tour of the United States. The tour began in September 1850 and continued to May 1852. Barnum's advance publicity made Lind a celebrity even before she arrived in the U.S., and tickets for her first concerts were in such demand that Barnum sold them by auction. The tour provoked a popular furore dubbed "Lind Mania" by the local press, and raised large sums of money for both Lind and Barnum. Lind donated her profits to her favoured charities, principally the endowment of free schools in her native Sweden. Lind's concerts featured a supporting baritone, Giovanni Belletti, and her London colleague Julius Benedict as pianist, arranger and conductor. Lind found Barnum's relentless commercial promotion of her increasingly distasteful, and she terminated her contract with him in 1851 under amicable circumstances, continuing to tour for nearly a year under her own management. Benedict returned to England in 1851, and Lind's friend Otto Goldschmidt joined the tour as her pianist and conductor. She and Goldschmidt married in February 1852.

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