B0031. (TETRAZZINI) Charles Neilson Gattey. Luisa Tetrazzini, The Florentine Nightingale. Portland, OR, Amadeus, 1995. 379pp. Index; Bibliography; Definitive Gattey Discography; Exhaustive Chronology; Photos; DJ. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 9780931340871 0-931340-87-X
"The first full-length biography of Luisa Tetrazzini sets the record straight about many details of her life....Gattey makes a sincere effort to trace her career in chronological order from her debut at Florence in 1890...to her farewell concert in London in 1934, and along the way to tell as much as may be discovered about her marriages, lovers, law-suits, and sometimes outrageous escapades. His narrative style is clear but plain and oddly impersonal; he passes on every scrap of gossip with a completely straight face, leaving the reader to speculate about the veracity of the gossipers."
- Desmond Arthur, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 1995
"Luisa Tetrazzini is arguably the most famous Italian soprano of the 'Golden Age' of opera. Listen to any of her records, and the voice and style are utterly unique and immediately recognizable. That being said, she had a somewhat erratic career, singing here and there for almost twenty years before making it 'big' one little-promoted night in Covent Garden in 1907. From then on she became a celebrity, as well known for her singing as for her eating habits (yes, she loved food), her flamboyant personality, her disputes with managers, her husbands/lovers, her jewelry, etc. Like many opera singers 'Tet' had many rather unglamorous, not altogether 'proper' years as a singer (seems she ran away from her husband to pursue a singing career) and thus she talked about food, jewelry, dresses, anything except her personal history. For this reason information about who she really was and where she came from has been scant. Gattey's biography is well-researched, although even he cannot fill in all the holes. He mentions almost nothing of her childhood. How she felt about the many tumultuous events (and lovers) in her life and career is unknown also. Maybe she was one of those people who only really came alive when she sang....fans of Tet will want this book just to know more about her life. Gattey's writing style is drily witty and very well researched. There is a discography, analysis of her recordings, and chronology of all her appearances. But for my money if you want to know what Tet is all about, buy one of her recordings."
- Ned Ludd