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GLYNDEBOURNE FOR \

AUSTRALIA?

I MUSIC & DRAMA

By I !;.

"Scrutator" | «

jj IN the heart of the Sussex countryside in England there jj jj nestles in the spacious grounds of a manor home an j! I opera house that has become world famous. Here, for six jj |j weeks each season, opera is produced on satisfying scale. Now jj ji that the alarms and excursions of war have drastically affected jj

j all matters theatrical, John Brownlee issues a plea for an Over- || |j sea excursion-a season in. Australia by the Glyndeboiirné jj

jj players. : ' : ' . - jj

jT)OWN lh Sussex-''at that point

? where the bleak beauty ot the South Downs begins to contrast.with the wóodéri. luxuriance ot the AVfeald," to quote. Mr. Herbert Read-a little over An hour's run from-London, Hes Glyndebourne "sheltered In a.wide belt - ot trees." Six or seven years ago Glyn-

debourne was- just Glyndebourne. Sleeping quietly in the shadow of thc Downs, Just beyond Lewes, that an- cient town whore Anne of Cleves took refuge from thc disappointment bf Henry the Kighth, lt ls doubtful whe- ther Its-fame'was more than county wide. Travellers to Rastburno from the metropolis probably passed lt un- heeding. Certainly none ot Ilium could hâve Imagined Its artistic dlstlny.

Today Glyndebourne ls Internation- ally famous-the scene and centre of ono of tho most remarkable move- ments In the whole history of opera. Passing1 casually by this spot, which has now become world famous, you might stop a moment to admire what you could seo from the road of a typical English country-house (writes Basil Burdett in the Melbourne "Herald"). -To that house six years ago Mr. John Christie and his singer wife, profes- sionally Audrey Mlldmay, added the opera house and inaugurated the an- nual six Weeks' soason which has made Glyndebourne ns famous In the world of opera as Its older sister, the Aus- trian Salzburg. Begun as a Mozart festival, other operas have been added to the repcrtolrs during recent seasons -Verdi's ".Macbeth" and Donizetti's "Don Pasquale." But Glyndebourne fame still rests on its production of Mozart. To see "Don Giovanni," "Cos! Kan Tuite," "Figaro" and "Ii Serag- lio" as nearly as possible as one might have seen them in Mozurt's own day one must go to Glyndebourne.

Under Hie artistic direction of Fritz Ulindi, thc conductor, and his nsso rlntes-Prof. Ebert, the producer, and Maestro Rrode, who conducts the school-the intimate spirit of opera In the 1M til century has been recaptured, Hie spirit of opera in Mozart's Vienna nnd In the smnll German courts of the day. Not only thc Intimacy, but thc delicate precision and perfection of ensemble demanded by Mozart have been recaptured at Glyndebourne. During a recent tom by the Glynde- bourne artists or Antwerp, Brussels, Zurich and Basie, thc Press was unan-

imous in saying that the Mozart per- , formalices were a revelation. "We thought we know Mozart, but the Glyndebourne performances have sat- isfied us that we had only touched the fringe of the beauties of his operas" that was the general tenor of com- ment. Kvérywhere the beauty of en- semble was especially noted-lt was likened to chamber-music in opera hy one critic. And the personal recep- tion of the ai-tisis wns In keeping with

critical enthuslnsm-Rrownlce wa* carried from the thentre lo his hotel in Basie by appreciative opera-lovers.

But uiat has ail this to do wfth Australia? you have pori.fi pe begun tn ask, Glyndebourne ls M.mm miles sway. No ira In fluni .Melbourne or Sydney or Adelaide will take us there In an hour or so.

But lt ^Is just here that John

Brownlee, one ot the pioneer Artists

ot Glyndebourne, creator ot Don Al- fonso in "Cosí Fan Tutte" and ot the High Priest in "The Maule Flute" in Its first season, famous as its Don Giovanni and the Count in "Figaro" during subsequent seasons, makes his entry, cherished plan In hand. If the Australian Mahomet cannot go to\the Glyndebourne mountain, th«n the Glyndebourne mountain must come to 'Mahomet in Australia, he says In effect. Briefly, his cherish- ed plan {s Just that-a Glyndebourne

season iii Australia.

Theatrical Ambition

"it has been my great ambition

for some time now," John Brownlee says, "to bring the Glyndebourne company to Australia. I know of ..few musical experiences I would

rather put In the way of my fellow countryimcn. It would give Austra- lia, the present generation, nt all events, an entirely new experience in opera, for Mozart has not been done in recent memory in Australia, lt lt has ever been done there at all. It ls safe, In any. case, to say that lt hns never been done ns In Glyndebourne. Kven Iii Salzburg, Mozart's home, and thc scene of the famous festival which brought Toscanini and Bruno Walter there for many years, they never worked so hard for the perfec- tion of enseniblc singing MR we do In Glyndebourne. Not In any opera house anywhere is si> much effort de- voted to the purely musical, thc singing, side. And the production captures the Mozartlnn spirit to a really remarkable degree. Austra- lia should have a chance to hear Mozart done like this. lc ls a rare musical experience. These operas arc among the loveliest In the whole of operatic literature. Operatic ex- perience is not complete without hearing them. To know them ls tu love them. As a singer ' know that the more 1 sing them the more they grow on me. Although 1 have sung some of them every season for six years, I never tire of them. One is always discovering new homilies in them. For me the Glyndebourne season passes each year In a Hash, so Interested am I In fresh developments In my roles. They are to the operatic stage something like Shakespeare in drama. Don Dlovannl ls certainly one of the greatest nf nil operas, one of the most dlflioult vocally, and requiring very special handling in production, which it gets In full measure nt Glyndebourne."

Australian Co-operation

But to hiing even a comparative!} .mall company nf 20 to 25 principal» like this to Australia-the chorus would he recruited locally-requires money, as no one knows better than an experienced operatic artist like john Brownlee. But his conlldenre in the .success of such a season makes him

certain thnt nobody would lose a penny over such a venture; that, on the con- trary, somebody might even' make

some pennies. ''.

"Surely, In , any case," he asks, "a fairy godfather or. a humber of fairy godfathers-or godmothers-If neces- sary, could be found In the country of Melba to sponsor a venture of such artistic Importance? And surely In a country which can'sustain important seasons of ballet unequalled anywhere Iii the world outside of England thc success ot a season of Glyndebourne opera, would not be In doubt? Fili- ally, lt woiild offer a wonderful oppor- tunity for co-operation between the Australian Broadcasting Commission

and private enterprise." ,

The Glyndebourne company has the great advantage that lt could expand Its repertoire for an Australian season very easily. Without adding to Its present principals ll could add operas like "The Barber of Seville" and "Car- men." But Mozart would be the baBls, and the Australian theatres are not so big that the characteristic intimate quality of Glyndebourne productions would be lost In them.

Costumes would be brought out, but scenery would he done here-a won- derful opportunity for Australian de- signers, and-one which might well In- terest design students In Australian art schools.

The season at Glyndebourne ls In May and .Tune, and John Brownlee suggests an Australian season In Aug . ust, September, October, and Novem-

ber-excellent months for us. Such a season would be Glyndebourne's first outside ot Europe-although Invited to the New York World Fair this year lt wns found Impossible to flt In with the dates suggested.

"A season like this might easily point the way to the establishment of a permanent opera In Australia," John Brownlee says. "Australia has plenty of vocal talent. It would be neces- sary, ot course, to bring out principals and organisers, but it could be started on a modest scale, as Glyndebourne

M AHI A MAREAS

Iceland-bom soprano, who shortly will tour Australia under the au-

spices of thc Australian Broad-

casting Commission. .

started. Tills, English venture ls a purely private enterprise and. has had no subsidy.^ ; Many voices and talents ^have been discovered In Glyndebourne, and much the same would happen In Australia. What a wonderful oppor- tunity for, a rich man-to ensure n Glyndebourne season In Australia and later to sponsor a permanent. Austral- ian company on similar lines!"

All music-lovers In Australia will hope that, by whatever means, the first, lt not both, ot these projects so enthusiastically put forth by a great Australian singer may find realisation In a not distant future.

Soprano From Iceland

Talking further of Glyndebourne, at any rate, one operntic artist ac- claimed there, is on the way.

In Marla Markau, 28-year-old so- prano, from Iceland, who made a brilliant debut to British audiences In the Glyndebourne Opera Season this year, Australia will hear a superb young singer at tho outset of what promises to be an International career. On completion of her musical training in Berlin Miss Martian returned to Iceland In 1932. The same year she sang nt the Stockholm Festival in tho presence of tho Kings ot Sweden, Nor- way and Denmark. In 1935 she re- turned to Germa'ny and sang with out- standing success in Hamburg and Berlin, Her first appearance in opern was the following year, during the Hnmburg senson when she sang leonora in "Trovatnre." Her reputa

tion ns an artist grew rapidly and In, 193R she went ns guest-singer to the . Hoyal Opera ot Copenhngen. Last

.lune she achieved lier greatest success when she snng at the 1939 premiere of Glyndebourne in Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro." The cast of principals on this occasion also included John Brownlee.

Beecham Coming

One ot the most Important engage- ments hy the Australian Broadcast- ing Commission tor Its 1040 season ls that ot Slr Thomas Beecham, the world-renowned British conductor, who will visit Australia this year. He is expected to arrive in June, and will remain tor three months to con- duct IC concerts throughout tho Commonwealth. Undoubtedly, tho visit ot Slr Thomas Beecham will make an invaluable contribution to orchestral music. Ills brilliance ns a conductor and his outstanding per- sonality nre sure to stimulate Aus- tralian musical Ute. Slr Thomas Beecham has achieved his place In the front rank of world conductors by his superb gifts and his remark- able personality. Ile began his enreer as an amateur, was largely self-taught, but his .father, a wealthy manufacturer, was' able to .afford him early opportunities for conduct- ing. At the «ge of 10 young Beecham founded an amateur orrheslrn near liverpool. Kven as a young boy he showed a complete knowledge of the scores and a full command of the orchestra. He made his first ap- pearance in landon In 1900 with the Queen'« Hall Orchestra. In 1910 he gave the first of his famous opera seasons In lOnglish al Covent Gar- den. Even during the Great War,

SIR THOMAS BEECH AM

Eminent British conductor, who this year will conduct a series of

orchestral concerts in Australia.

he continued to present Bensons of opera. In 1314 ho -was knighted for his services to music, and ho suc- ceeded to his father's baronetcy In 101«. After 1020, whllo still con- tinuing his great interest In opera, Sir Thomas Becchnm turned his at- tention to concert work. Perhaps his greatest achievement In this direction was IIIB creation In 1032 of tho London Philharmonic Orches- tra, regarded as ono of the finest or- chestral bodies in the world. It was formed for the service of th» Royal Philharmonic Society and tho Inter- national opera season nt Covent Garden, ot which house Beechnm be- came artistic director In 1032. 'Sir ThomaB took the London Philhar- monic Orchestra with him to Ger- many, and also conducted both opera and Philharmonic concerts in Ber- lin with outstanding success. Other European countries where bois very popular nro Franco and Italy. He has made numerous visits to tho United Slates to appear as guest conductor with tho New York Phil- harmonic Orchestra and the Phila- delphia Symphony Orchestra.

"The Man From Toronto"

The delightful comedy, "The Man From Toronto," will be produced at The Playhouse, Hobart, on Snturdny next, by the Public Service Players, and will be repented on tho following Wednesday and Saturday. The play has been In rehearsal for the past three months under Mrs. lt. G. Brett ns producer, and ns the enst has been carefully chosen, the Plnyors should achieve a success in this, their most ambitious venture up to the present. Thc theme centres round the will of the deceased admirer of n fnBrlnntlng widow, Mrs. Calthorpe, a fortune hav- ing been left tq her on rendition ibm she ninnies the testator's nephew, "The Man From Toronto." Mrs. Cal- thorpe, Instead nf being wooed under hpr proper Identity, Impersonates her mnfrt. and tho complications may be Imagined. The role of Mrs. Calthorpe will be played hy Zonda Edwards, anil Sim. Edwards will take the name part. Other members of the enst are: .Tes- sie Salter. Doreen ? Corcoran, Hetty Sweet. Vivienne McLean, Marie Koch, Don. Sharp, and E. T. Emmett,

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