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THOMAS EDISON ON OPERA SINGERS:
Excerpts from the 1912 trial sheets

During 1910–12, Edison engineers conducted numerous experimental disc recording sessions—primarily in London, and to a lesser extent in New York and Paris—using eminent operatic singers. Thomas Edison reviewed the results closely.

The excerpts below were trancribed by Ray Wile from Edison's handwritten notes in the ENHS archive. They were recently made available to us by Mr. Wile, whose forthcoming Edison Diamond Disc Discography is under development by Mainspring Press.


AINO ACKTE (mx. 871):
"Woman good singer, has only little tremolo... We can use this woman in future with soft accompt and good tunes." (5/6/1912)

ADELINA AGOSTINELLI (mx. 430):
"Her tremolo queers this song. Hold it." (5/8/1912)

GIOVANNI ALBANESE (mx. 1067):
"Don't care for him." (1912)

THOMAS CHALMERS (mx. 813):
"A non-tremolo singer." (2/13/1912)

EDUARDO DE BURY (mx. 469):
"Singer no good." (1912)

CHARLES HACKETT (mx. 1050):
"Hackett has a very variable voice, sharp in some notes soft in others, and nasty rapid tremolo." (1912)

HEINRICH HENSEL (mx. 549):
"Rotten. Never use this voice." (5/17/1912)

AGNES KIMBALL (mx. 852):
"This singer has too many glaring defects of voice." (1912)

HEINRICH KNOTE (mx. 634):
"Fine sustained tone, no tremolo... only wants proper accompt." (1912)

HEINRICH KNOTE (mx. 638):
"Singer good—has some tremolo but not highly conspicuous." (1912)

MARIA LABIA (mx. 861):
"Nip & tuck between Bori & Labia." (1912)

GIOVANNI MARTINELLI (mx. 1064):
"Good tenor has some tremolo and gutteral sounds but his high beats Caruso. He is a far better singer than Caruso is now." (1912)

GIOVANNI POLESE (mx. 494):
"Not as good as Chalmers." (1912)

GIOVANNI POLESE (mx. 987):
"Some opera perverts have probably got educated to this type of voice. The tune pulls him through." (5/22/1912)



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