Garden, Mary


American dramatic soprano, who has been called "the idol of the Parisian opera-goers," and who came back to her own country in 1907, to sing in New York for the first time, at the Manhattan Opera House, the roles she had made famous at the Opera Comique. Her appearances were greeted with the greatest enthusiasm. Miss Garden was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, but came to America with her parents when she was very young. Her early years were passed in Chicago, and when she grew to young womanhood and developed a good soprano voice, she was much in demand for musicales and church affairs and also sang in a church choir in that. city. The family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and from there to New York, where Miss Garden studied voice culture with Mrs. Robinson Duff, who recommended a course under some good teacher in Paris, with a view to her pupil's going on the operatic stage. The funds for her course of instruction in Paris were generously provided by Mrs. David Mayer, the wife of a retired merchant of Chicago, a keen patron of the arts, and an old friend of the Garden family. For four years Mrs. Mayer defrayed the expenses of her protegee's studies in the French capital, which she reached early in 1897, and made it possible for her to study with the best teachers of that city. Her first teacher was Trobedello, she next became a pupil of Fugere of the Opera Comique, and then studied with Jules Chevallier. It was not until 1900 that the American girl had her chance, when, with only a few hours' notice, she undertook the role of Louise, in Gustave Charpentier's opera of that name at the Opera Comique, in place of the prima donna, who was ill. Miss Garden's success was so great that she was retained in the part and made two hundred and five appearances in it at that theatre. For a time after that she studied with Jean De Reszke and sang at the Comique the roles of Melisande in Debussy 's Pelleas and Melisande, in Thais, in La Traviata, in Piernes' Fille de Tabarin, in La Reine Fiametta; Lakme; Manon; Massenet's Cherubin, and in Erlanger's Aphrodite. Later she added to her repertory, the part of Nedda in I Pagliacci. Miss Garden is exceedingly popular in London, where she has sung at Covent Garden. She has also been successful at many of the European watering-places, especially at Aix-lesBains, where she sang a few summers ago by special request of King George of Greece, by whose desire she also sang at Windsor Castle for King Edward and Queen Alexandra in 1907.