Today was warm enough for an early April hike. My younger son suggested the Staunton State Park, a piney woodland fronting the Staunton Rocks.
The park also has an assortment of more or less dilapidated cabins. My favorite was the little Brola cabin. Its pine shutters are a delightful rustic touch.
Jeanne Brola was the stage name of Jeanne Brooks Harrison (1871-1956).
History from the internet: She reached operatic fame in the early 1900s when she appeared at Italy's La Scala Opera House and London's Covent Garden. She also appeared in Vienna and Berlin. She was known as the "Puccini girl" because of her interpretations of Puccini operas and her friendship with the composer. It is said that she was the inspiration for Puccini's work, "Girl of the Golden West."
Here she is as Mimi in La Boheme, performed at the Royal Opera House of London in 1917. Ms. Brola, at that time a hearty 46 year old matron, seems a bit robust to be cast as the delicate, consumptive Mimi.
I found the secret of her impressive constitution in an Australian newspaper blurb from 1914:
MADAME JEANNE BROLA IN ARDUOUS OPERATIC ROLES.
It has been the surprise and delight of music-lovers and theatre-goers to witness the lavish display of vocal ability and operatic talent so unquestionably possessed by Madame Jeanne Brola, the distinguished soprano of the Quinlan Opera Company, during its recent season.
Many of her singing roles are prominently opposed to each other, yet she is as much at home in "Madame Butterfly" as in "La Boheme," and as much so in "The Girl of the Golden West" as in "Aida." It appears natural to her in that whatever she does, she does well.
Madame Brola has during the season deservedly become intensely popular with Australian music-lovers, but she freely admits that so great and exhausting have been her duties that she would undoubtedly have suffered from a great mental and physical breakdown were it not for the fact that she took Clements Tonic, the ideal medicine for the artiste and professional. Her tribute to this splendid strength-giving and health preserving medicine has been often published for the public good.
In her own words, she says: "I feel certain that I would have suffered from a great physical and mental breakdown were it not for the use of this great medicine."
All stores and chemists sell Clements Tonic. Get it and lay the foundation of good and lasting health.
You can still purchase this magic elixir a hundred years later!