There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
Opera became popular in Texas the same way it did in a lot of previously isolated regions of the nation. It started with money. In the case of Texas, it was oil money, and it made a lot of people very rich, very fast.
This joyfulness that I felt when I sang, and this need to communicate with people, these are my two strongest points. I've always been a people person. I love people; I like to be with people, and when I got on stage, I was home free.
My father died five days before I returned to New York. He was only fifty-three years old. My parents and my father's doctor had all decided it was wiser for me to go to South America than to stay home and see Papa waste away. For a long time, I felt an enormous sense of guilt about having left my father's side when he was so sick.
My voice had a long, nonstop career. It deserves to be put to bed with quiet and dignity, not yanked out every once in a while to see if it can still do what it used to do. It can't.
In a sense, I revolutionized the operatic scene because I proved you can make a great international career without the Metropolitan. I'm the only singer who's done that, and I'm proud of that, so it's all worked out for the best.