1) I do buy some dicey CDs at times when I fail to get as far as
Michael's (of blessed memory) Music Shop which is the only shop
devoted to classical music in Sydney. The World's Greatest Singers
Vol. 1 is a real fizzer in parts. It is from Laser Records Pty Ltd,
Evasound Musical Production, EMD 021 without details, aknowledgements,
no dates, no details. A really cheap article.
In the recent Sydney International Piano Competition (SIPC) there were
gripes about the contestants from Russia who played in the so-called
Russian "school". Well last night I was listening to Miliza Korjus
singing in a style I remember from my childhood - very high, reedy,
almost expressionless performance. One of the world's greatest voices?
I don't think so. One of the "sing them muck!" voices? What I want to
ask concerns a "school" of singing c.f. with the SIPC Russian piano
school (a Russian female won). So are there schools of singing? I know
the recording technique has a great deal to do with the singing we
hear from the 1920s and 30s. I've read and learnt about that from its
wide coverage on the List.
These are the singers adjudged to be among the world's greatest
singers, V.1. - Caruso, Gigli, Anni Frind, Marion Anderson, John
McCormack, Feodor Chaliapin, Nelson Eddy, John Charles Thomas, Tauber,
Peter Dawson, Lauritz Melchior, Lawrence Tibbet, Paul Robeson, Luigi
Infantino, Joseph Schmidt. Some might qualify but in the main those
singing ballads makes me as how can a listener tell about any
2) Sydney is a mad place at present as the Olympics draw near. Tickets
to Olympic events are being hand delivered on August Sundays right
across the country. I am awaiting tickets to the conventional events
there are the Olympic Arts Festival's performance of Capriccio with
Yvonne Kenny recreating her triumphs in Vienna and Berlin as the
Countess singing this wonderful score which Strauss spoke of as his
last opera music. This is a new production by John Cox who has changed
the period from the 18th century to the 1930s.
Other singers are Jeffrey Black as the Count and Austrian tenor
Nikolai Schukoff as Flamand. It is to be sung in German. I can't wait
though how I'll reach the Opera House during the Olympics is a major
puzzle. Maybe it will be good training for finding the Met in New York
City in October 2000.
Dr. Nina O'Flynn, formerly Education and General Studies, Sydney
Conservatorium, Sydney University