Friday, July 20, 2012


You may have seen reports over the last few weeks to the effect that Larry Page, founder & CEO of Google, has lost his voice and therefore can't participate in conference calls, give speeches, and so on.  Needless to say, I wish Larry well - and I'm sure that he has good doctors.

There's plenty of speculation about what might be wrong, from nodes or polyps on his vocal chords to Scott Adams's suggestion that he might have spasmodic dystonia, which has affected Adams's voice.

Singers worry a lot about their voices, and with good reason. In recent years, Natalie Dessay has had nodes removed from her vocal cords and Rolando Villazon had some kind of cyst removed from his. But the most famous case of nodes in opera history might have been the great soprano Lucrezia Bori's.

She had become a big star when the nodes appeared, and she spent a good five years off the stage. I read somewhere that for a full year, she did not speak at all. She came back in good form and sang for about another 15 years before retiring with her voice still in beautiful condition.

She's among my favorite early 20th c. singers, with a beautiful voice and tremendous style and charm. Here's her Mimi, from 1914, before her vocal hiatus.

There's plenty more of this lovely and graceful singer on YouTube.

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