Music: Irish Tenor

In the front row at London's Covent Garden sat a chubby Irish lad who thought he knew something about singing, too. He had a gold medal from a Dublin musical festival to prove it. And he had been making $50 a week, singing at the St. Louis Exposition. That night in 1905 he first heard the great Enrico Caruso in La Boheme. "The best lesson . . . I ever received," John McCormack said, years later. The lesson: that a singer with a natural gift, and powerful lungs, still had to work at it.


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