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Former Opera Diva Performs in Hospital

June 13, 1962 - Mary Garden (pictured in 1911), once hailed as the “Queen of American Opera,” has given her first performance since the 1930s — in a hospital ward. The 85-year-old soprano has been in the hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland, recovering from a fall in which both arms were broken. Fellow patients who learned of her reputation begged her to sing. At first she refused, as she has done since she retired. But this week, Miss Garden relented and sang the sentimental Scottish song, “Annie Laurie,” while sitting in a chair in a ward. She brought some of her audience to tears. One of them said, “It was beautiful to hear her sing. The voice is still there despite her age.” Miss Garden, who went with her family from Scotland to the U.S. at the age of six, returned to her homeland after her retirement.

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