There’s money in singing. Money for the good singers, and money for the good singers’ music teachers (who should now attract many more students). With a promising student, a teacher might charge much less – or arrange to be paid in the distant future, when the singer is finally raking in money. Naturally, the parents of the singer might make sacrifices, tempted by the prospect of great wealth descending upon the family later on.
Money, in short, is a key reason why there have been so many fine singers in the past -- and are so many now.
There’s a Website called “100 Greatest Opera Singers,” and even though opera singers of the past are a special interest of mine (hell, I’ve even heard of Pavel Lisitisian and Adele Kern), there are many names on the list I’m unfamiliar with. (Someone named L. Richard Lewis assembled the names.) The list, by the way, actually includes well over a hundred names, not a mere 100.
Anyway, I thought I would pass along some arias sung by five of these excellent but little-known singers, along with a smattering of their biographies (from Wikipedia).