Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pigeon Pie

"The unique quality of his voice was the fact that it could reach higher and also lower notes than have ever been reached before by any human being, some of which were so high only bats, others so low that only horses, could hear them. When he was a very young man studying in Germany, his music teacher said to him, 'Herr King, you shall make, with that voice of  yours, musical history. I hope I may live to hear you at your zenith.'"

"The prophecy came true. Ivor King was knighted at an early age, he made a large fortune, gained an unassailable position and the nickname by which he was always known, 'The King of Song', largely on the strength of this enormous range of voice. Largely, but not solely. A lovable and very strong personality, a genial quality of good fellowship, and latterly his enormous age, had played their part, and combined with his magnificent notes to make him not only one of the best known but also one of the best loved men of several successive generations. Among particular achievements he was the only man ever to sing the name part in the opera Norma, the script of which had been re-written especially for him, and re-named Norman."

– from Pigeon Pie (1940) by Nancy Mitford (1904-1973)

Image source is here