V0229. RUBY HELDER: The Girl Tenor, incl. Songs by Balfe, Faure, Clay, de Heuvel, Roeckel, Blumenthal, Squire, Tosti, Mascheroni, Oliver, Adams, Brahe & Pinsuti; Arias from Lallah Roukh, The Bohemian Girl, The Lily of Killarney, Martha & Paulus. (England) Pearl 9035, recorded 1908-21. Very Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 727031903529
“Ruby Helder went to train at the Guildhall School of Music under Charles Tinney, before she received tuition from one of the outstanding figures in British music, Charles Santley. He later wrote: ‘Miss Ruby Helder possesses a natural, pure tenor voice of great beauty and power. She also possesses what few can boast, a thoroughly artistic temperament. In my opinion, she has no rivals among the artists of the day’.
Helder began recording for Pathé as early as 1908 and in July 1909 made her first public appearance on the operatic stage at the Queen’s Hall, London. After making further records for Edison Bell Velvet Face, in 1911 Ruby signed a recording contract with HMV. By this time, her remarkable voice was known worldwide and invitations to sing poured in from many countries, including Russia. The United States witnessed some of Helder’s greatest concert triumphs, especially in Philadelphia and Chicago, and in 1915 the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso took an interest in her career. On hearing her voice, he was so amazed by its two octave range – from C to high C, only three notes short of his own – he approached the management of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and suggested they offer Helder tenor roles. They declined, fearful of engaging someone who might be regarded as a freak. Undeterred, she continued performing and recording a mixture of operatic pieces and light, sentimental music of the time, while pursuing further music studies at the Grinnell College Faculty between 1916 and 1917. Helder attracted the attention of the legendary John Philip Sousa. Impressed by her voice, he invited her to join his band and she enjoyed a lengthy tour of the United States and Canada with them.”
- Terry Hallett, THE STAGE, 2013