Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Only the voice remains


I grew up in a house with one radio and a little old record player so the first time I heard anything operatic was when the radio was accidentally shifted off the racing station to the ABC.


I had never heard anything as beautiful as Joan Sutherland singing the Bell Song from Delibes 'Lakme'. It was written on my wish list but it was 10 years before I tracked down a recording and could afford to buy it on my $20 a week pay.


Then the ABC broadcast the Opera live from the Sydney Opera House and I had my first view of the entire opera story. I loved it and Dame Joan for ever.

16 comments:

R.H. said...

What an excellent posting. First rate. I remember hearing Rock Around The Clock for the first time, and put my head on the big radio, wanting to climb inside it. Then Bill Haley arrived at Melbourne airport wearing an old garbadine overcoat. I was disappointed.

Jayne said...

Her title, La Stupenda, says it all perfectly.

JahTeh said...

Robbert, I still have the 45 and still love it. Of course, there's your song as well, '13 women and only one man in town'.

Jayne, the ABC put out a video of the original Lakme and a doco on the re-staging later. It was fantastic. She never lost being an Australian and when she retired she never sang again as only the best would do for her.

River said...

I also grew up in a house with one radio, although ours was a big old thing standing in the corner of the living room. It was turned on for the news daily, then on Sunday evenings for Dad'N'Dave. Then we got a television. It was turned on daily for the news and on Saturday mornings for the cartoons. When reception improved after the installation of our antenna, we watched a lot more than the news!
I never heard or saw any opera though. I've never liked it much anyway. I prefer stuff that gets my feet tapping.

Lord Sedgwick said...

I had never heard anything as beautiful as Joan Sutherland singing the Bell Song from Delibes 'Lakme'.

Obviously you have never heard the dulcet tones of Chad Morgan. Jeez you're a philistine!

JahTeh said...

Sedgwick, you swine. How he ever talked let alone sing with those teeth fails me.

River, my father loved every new electric thing that came along and I hate to think what the house would be like now, probably one entire wall of flat screen tele.
The iPhones he would have loved, being able to place a bet on a horse from anywhere, just heaven.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I have an online TAB account. It's for throwing money at Sedgwick's horsey.
Dame Joan and The Sheik From Scrubby Creek* would have got along just fine I think.
(* he actually lived in Footscray in recent years).
I have been to several operas thank you, and have actually held a lock of Dame Joan's hair, the treasured memento of a friend who worked onstage with her. How fabulous to be a Diva - Heaven would be a step down I guess.

Elisabeth said...

Nothing like a little opera.

Lord Sedgwick said...

And the Sedgwick's horsey ran a creditabullish 3rd returning $6.40 at it's last start at the Rat. His 3rd got him a gig in the final Saturday night, 23rd Oct. Will be similar odds.

(Just sayin' - with the "all care, no responsibility" caveat.)

River said...

Sedgewick; I actually met Chad Morgan once. He did a concert at the Port Pirie Town Hall and I got to go back stage and meet him and get an autograph. He did his trick of eating an apple through a tennis racquet. He was very entertaining. I was about 14 then.

R.H. said...

I can't work out why you are anti- homophobe and so much better than anti-homophobes, anti-racist and so much better than anti-racists, and so on, and on, you are the Jesus Christ of bloggers.

JahTeh said...

Annie O, speaking of horses, Dame Joan rode one on stage and sang her aria. This was when her back was so bad, she had to wear a steel corset all the time. You can't keep a Diva from singing.

Elisabeth, I must admit I have favourites and discard the rest.

Sedgwick, not in a million years (and this from a gambler) would I put another cent on that nag of yours.

River, I don't believe that, a tennis raquet! They don't make entertaines like that anymore except for RH who's always good for a laugh.

Robbert, mother got a sound off tonight. She didn't like the new nurse because she is a lesbian. I said what's that got to do with it and she said, she's nasty. So it boiled down to the fact that the nurse is plain nasty to the patients and would be even if she was straight. Mother got the point and I wish it were as easy to do that with other people. A nasty person is a nasty person regardless of who hits the bed beside them.

R.H. said...

Lesbians I've known have all been nasty.

Aggressive.

Most were in mental hospitals.

JahTeh said...

Robbert, not the one I've met. You wouldn't find nicer women than the Muriels.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"You wouldn't find nicer women than the Muriels."

They'd be much nicer if'n only they'd respond to my bedroom eyes. (Copyright Stevie Wonder and Marty Feldman.)

(Word verification - 'putoside'. Is that a comment on my comment?!)

JahTeh said...

Sedgwick's bedroom eyes?

Cue raucous laughter!

More laughter!

Full blown hysteria!