MUSIC AND MUSICIANS
MISS RITA MILLER
A Devotee of Art
Miss Rita Miller, the coloratura sop- rano, who, in association with Mr.
John Brownlee, will make her first bow
to the Hobart pub-
lic at the Theatre Royal to-night, is like that great bari- tone, an Australian and a consummate attist. Like Melba whose art bore the name of Australia to the ends of the earth, these stal- wart Australians of the younger gen- eration believe wholeheartedly in the gospel of hard
Miss Rita Miller [photo portrait]
work. And the results are shown in the
perfection of the many details which go to make up the art of the singer. But the cheery hopefulness radiated by these apostles of the beautiful must re- assure even the most sluggish that hard work is not the same as dreary toll, and stoutly as Miss Miller preaches the doc- trine of concentration as the prerequisite of success in art, one cannot fall to see that with her the sustained effort to reach perfection has been a labour of love, a joyful service as of a devotee worshipping at a shrine. For her out- look is definitely spiritual, and on this factor hinges the irresistible appeal of
Miss Millar was born at Ballarat, famed as the home of musical competi- tions, She belonged to anartistic fam- ily, in which the study of speechcraft began at the age of six for each of the three children. She enjoyed a general musical education,, and was a pupil of the celebrated Loretto Convent. She studied the violin, which she played in the Lyric Orchestra, of Ballarat, thus laying a wonderful foundation for her future work in opera. It is interesting to recall that it was at the Ballarat com- petitions that she first met Mr. Brown- lee, both of them being candidates for distinction. In 1924 she toured Aus- tralia with the Willlamson-Melba Opera Company, and took the part of Siebel in Gounod's "Faust," playing with Melba herself. This she described yesterday in an interview as the first thing worth-
while that she had done.
STUDIES IN EUROPE.
After singing professionally in Mel- bourne for a year. Miss Miller went in December, 1925, to Milan, where she im- proved her knowledge of Italian. She next went to London, but it was later in Paris, that she did all her real study with Madame Cécile Gilly, the wife of Dinh Gilly, John Brownlee's teacher She spent a year under this fine ex- ponent of the art of song, and then gave her first recital in Paris. Just a year later she made her first appearance as Gilda in "Rigoletto," at the Mouvean Theatre. She appeared in Bach's "St. Matthews Passion" with Mr. Brownlee, who sang the words of our Lord. The last season before coming to Australia for the present tour in March, 1932, she went to Toulon, where she sang all the leading coloratura roles, covering in all 12 operas. She will shortly return to Paris, sailing the first week in March.
Miss Miller speaks French with un- usual purity of diction, and although her devotion to musical art has hitherto proved all-absorbing, she confesses to a passion for literature, which she has had to starve, except during the holi- days, when she takes a whole load of books with her into the quiet of the country. Here, in the leafy shade, she revels in the classics of French litera- ture, her characteristic preference being for those writers who include Rene
Bazin and George Sand, sensitive ar- tists who discover the poetry in the everyday lot of the humble and faithful, and unlike many other French writers do not seek their mission in the morbid stressing of the seamy side of life.
NOTES Music Week.
Hobart's second Music Week opens on Sunday, February 5, with sermons on music in the churches, an organ recital by Mr. J. Scott-Power at St. David's Cathedral, and a concert by the com- bined bands at the North Hobart Oval in the afternoon, and concert at the Memorial Church in" the evenins. Here the choir under Mr. James Marsh will sing Gounod's "Gallia," with Madame Vera Tasma as soloist, and Miss Nora Williamson, the noted violinist, will give a short recital. On Monday, February 6, the Hobart Orpheus Club, conducted bv Mr. Allan Limb, with the help ol' Miss Freda Elliott (soprano), Miss Gladys Holmes (contralto), and Messrs. J. H. Brown and Harold Turner (bari- tones), and supported by the A.B.C. Orchestra, will give a mixed programme. On Tuesday, February 7, Madame Lucy Atkins, supported by Mr. Frank Pur chas (baritone) and the Troubadours Quartet, will lead in a festival of fel- lowship song. On Wednesday, February 8, Mr. J. Glanville Bishop will conduct a concert of the Hobart Symphony Or-
chestra at the Theatre Royal with Miss I Heather Kinnaird (contralto) and Miss Mollie Whitelaw (violin) as supporting artists. On Thursday, February 9, .the Hobart Philharmonic Society"conducted by Mr. George A. Jackson, and supported by Miss Jessie Shmith (contralto), Miss Doreen Bldencope (soprano), Mr. Thomas Goward (bass), Mr. David Feir clough (violin), and Mr. Charles Clay (tenor), will offer a mixed programme. Friday evening, February 10, will be devoted to a violin recital by Miss Nora Williamson at the Town Hall, with Miss Mary Corvan in pianoforte works and Miss Lila Harvey in soprano songo. On Saturday evening, February .11, the Wireless Choir and the A.B.C. Orchestra will give Haydn's Imperial Mass at the Town Hall. The soloists are Miss Lila Harvey (soprano), Mrs. Kathleen Blair Hay (contralto), Mr. Fred Heraud (bari- tone), and Messrs. Charles Clay and Leo Fisher (tenors); Mr. George A. Jackson will be at the organ, and Mrs. B. E. Saunders at tim piano. Music Week will come to an end on Sunday evening, February 12, when Mr. J. Scott-Power will give a short organ recital at the Town Hall, and the combined choirs of Hobart, conducted by Mr. F. Fone, with Madame Helen George at the piano, will give a fellowship recital of sacred music.
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Opera for Hobart. ,
Mr. Hugo Larsen, In a letter to Mr. J. W. B. Murphy, manager of Hobart . Theatre Royal, writes that "Hobart will
see a season of grand opera this year. ? Williamson's have definitely decided not
to go on with their opera, but you may rest assured that the San Carlo will be there. I hope people will not think 1 this is another tabloid stunt."
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Mr. Peter Dawson still has pleasant
recollections of his visit to Hobart in 1931 with Mark Hambourg. In a letter to Mr. J. E. Monfries, Deputy Director of Posts and Telegraphs, Mr. Dawson recalls the supper given by his fellow
South Australians, sends Christmas greetings, and writes: "All the very best to my South Australian compatriots who are doing their bit to help on Tasmania. ''The Song of Australia.' The finest National Anthem ever written! Shall I
ever forget our singing of it-Brooks, Limb, Mitchell, Buring. Miller, Sands, Chandler, Gepp, Hunter, Williams, Piper, Sims, Meathrel, Hulbert, Berriman,
Schneider, Harrison, Young, Birch,
Howard, Jury? Wonderful! Cheerily,