At the year's end of 1953, during the performance of Wally together with Renata Tebaldi at La Scala Theater in Milan, the newspapers came out with astonishing news.Irene Mayer, a young American blind woman from the state of Maryland, claimed that she was able to see when Mario was singing. But when Mario left the stage, the girl's apparent "vision" reverted back to complete darkness. During his singing she gave a detailed description of the tenor on the stage, indicating his position, how he was dressed along with a description of his acting.The blind girl was able to see when Mario sang.She first experienced this phenomenon when she attended a performance of Aida at the Metropolitan by Mario Del Monaco and at one point she cried out aloud, "I can see the tenor!" She was able to describe him in detail, but only when he sang on the stage.
Irene and Mario at his home in Milan.
Irene Mayer in Mario Del Monaco's dressing room at La Scala Theater
The phenomenon didn't occur listening to a recording or watching a videotape.Nonetheless, since she lost her sight in 1949, attending a performance by Del Monaco became her reason for living; she considered that experience as a source of inspiration and encouragement because she regarded Mario as a honest and genuine person.
Doctors considered her case carefully and reached the conclusion that the girl was indeed able to see but weren't able to explain why. But, all concerned agreed that music and Del Monaco's singing had performed a miracle.