"The first of these had been a near catastrophe. The opera was Tristan and, contrary to general practice, there were a num-ber of spectators present, attracted by the renown of this great Wagnerian who was once their Carmen. Fremstad, looking regal and beautiful, walked on the stage, took one or two of her enormous strides and fell flat on her nose. Not a graceful fall, certainly not an antic to convey dignity and importance. I al-most burst into tears at this dreadful sight and fought my way backstage against strong resistance, for in this theater I was not allowed the freedom I enjoyed at the Metropolitan. I found Madame seated on a bit of scenery with every conductor, sub-conductor, director and singer in the place standing around 'her, all talking at once. The German language crashed against my ears fortissimo, ringing every change of shock, indignation, apology, and sympathy. Madame said nothing, but pounded her clenched fist up and down gently against her knee and shook her head, her eyes dark and troubled. When she saw me she reached out a shaking hand. 'Tinka, it is an ill omen. ... I will fail here as Isolde!' As long as I live I shall never cease to be grateful to Madame Charles Cahier, who was singing the Brangäne and who now intervened. 'Nonsense, Fremstad,' she said in her crisp, prac-tical tones, 'have you never heard of William the Conqueror? When he invaded England, you know, he tripped and fell on the shore as he disembarked. But he was a fast thinker. He grabbed two handfuls of English soil and said 'Thus do I grasp this land!' Now let me see your palms!' Sure enough, Isolde's hands were black with the stage dust of Munich. 'Well-so what are you worried about?' A slow smile widened the tragic lips; the eyebrows descended. 'Cahier, you are wonderful!' said Fremstad."

Olive Fremstad

(in Cushing, M. W. N.Y., S. 226-7)