Young people can get very discouraged and get hooked on drugs or on alcohol because of problems they perceive as insurmountable. It is important that they realize a mistake need not ruin their future, but they must also know that not everything in life is a bed of roses.
When I started to sing, my mother would have me engaged to perform at the Women's Christian Temperance Union national or annual meetings. I would hate doing this because I wanted to play baseball or go off skiing.
Singing beautiful melodies is one thing, but to deliver the text so that the people understand it, even in a foreign language, has to be worked at very hard.
Perhaps, once I am gone, the one thing I might be remembered for is having sung a great deal of Mahler with a great many phenomenal conductors. It is wonderful music, very spiritual.
By the time I was four, I would walk around the corner and wait at a local streetcar stop, get on the streetcar with somebody who looked like they could be my mother and go to the end of the line.
I have been all over the world. I have met some wonderful people, lots of them very simple, whom nobody will ever hear about, but who have been fabulous to me.
My mother was a wonderful, wonderful woman with a lovely voice who hated housework, hated cooking even more and loved her children. She was always arranging church activities such as a bazaar.
I thought I should go to New York because it was the place to go to study. I went and tried to get an application from the Juilliard School but they wouldn't even give me one because I didn't have my high school graduation.
After Bruno Walter, my career went in leaps and bounds. I have had 35 years of a career that is just incredible, and a wonderful time all over the world.
That is what I always tell service clubs: If you hear of somebody who is very young and talented, pick them up and give them that little assistance to make sure that they get to the professional stage.