Consider the order and discipline which is necessary to the harmonious interworking of all theses different forces for an hour and a half at a time. A slight forgetfulness on the part of any one of them might bring the performance to a standstill, and cover the entire organisation with disgrace. When once the first chord of the "vorspiel" has been sounded, the boats are burned as it were, and all depends on courage and presence of mind. In an opera like "The Meistersinger" systematization must indeed be carried to extremes. Now and then even the audience gets a hint of this; as witness the first and second bells for the raising of the curtain, each struck firmly and decisively at a particular bar of the score; with what marvellous obedient promptitude the immense stretch of canvas vanished into the ceiling on the stroke of the second bell!
At the end of an act, while the 'principal' principals are taking their calls, all sorts of people crowd into the wings to watch their demeanour; even the principals of the second rank (Corsi, Gilibert, de Bars etc.) press forward with childish curiosity to watch the de Reszkes, Plancon, Eames, Bispham etc. receive the adoration of the audience. This is surely a significant manifestation of what may be called the "operatic temperament".
Emma Eames (1865 - 1952) was an American soprano renowned for the beauty of her voice. She sang major lyric and lyric-dramatic roles in opera and had an important career in New York, London and Paris during the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century.