We are delighted to announce the appointment of Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, as the new Patron in Chief of the Melba Foundation.

Founded in 2001, the Melba Foundation continues to be at the forefront of promoting Australia’s finest classical musicians and artists on the national and international stage, through its Melba Recordings label.

Michael Quinn, Associate Editor of theclassicalreview.com, takes an informed look back at Melba’s first 10 years.

The world has always looked different when viewed from Melbourne. It did for Nellie Melba when she left Australia more than a century ago to find fame in far-flung Europe as one of the greatest singers of her age. And it does, today, for her namesake, Melba Recordings, which was founded in the legendary soprano’s hometown a decade ago with the ambitious aim, stated CEO Maria Vandamme (pictured), of creating “a Rolls-Royce label that was unstinting in its quality, and that would shift the Euro-centric axis of the music industry”.

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The June 2010 issue of Fanfare magazine, one of America’s longest-established and most prestigious classical music magazines, featured an interview with Melba Recordings founder and Managing Director, Maria Vandamme.

The interview was conducted by Henry Fogel, (seen here with Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez) a revered name in the American classical music industry. Fogel managed the legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 18 years and was President and CEO of the American Symphony Orchestra League before taking up his current position as Dean of the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

You can read the full interview on the Melba website

Melba Foundation supporters were treated to a lively and candid conversation between conductor Richard Bonynge and Michael Shmith, opera critic and senior writer with The Age, at The Opera Centre in Melbourne.

Maestro Bonynge spills the beans on his passions and peeves in modern opera productions. Don't miss listening to this!:

Listen to the interview PART 1

Listen to the interview PART 2

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Melba’s commitment to Queensland musicians and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra was stylishly and generously recognised by the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penny Wensley AO, when she recently hosted a reception at Government House in Brisbane.

In her illuminating and stirring speech at the event, Governor Wensley dedicated herself to “a relationship of great importance now, and of great potential for the future, one whose growth I will certainly be doing my best to encourage, as Queensland’s Governor and as a Patron (one of many) of the Melba Foundation”.

(You can read Governor Wensley’s galvanising speech here).

"From the start the finesse of Benedict's playing, his sense of phrasing and the opulence of the sound justify the title of Volupté...The wide palette of nuances and the interpreters' commitment are winning contributors to this captivating programme. "Classique News (France)

Eloquently combining experience and youth, “three outstanding musicians” – Roger Benedict (viola), Timothy Young (piano) and guest Ben Jacks (horn) – have produced relishable performances of unduly neglected and ravishing music.

The success of Volupté follows acclaimed first recordings by Melba of orchestral music by Vierne and Chausson on Turbulent Heart, and of Saint-Saëns’s one-act opera, Hélène coupled with the orchestral version of Nuit Persane.

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Two Melba Foundation Ambassadors are to play a leading part in the 2010 Mietta Song Recital Award competition – the prestigious annual event’s 15th anniversary year. Lisa Gasteen, the Brisbane-born soprano – a “majestic”, “radiant”, “magnificent” Brünnhilde in Melba’s ground-breaking recording of Der Ring des Nibelungen – and the legendary soprano Marilyn Richardson take their places on the judging panel in the University of Melbourne’s Melba Hall during the final two decisive rounds from July 3-4.

And Rosamund Illing – hailed as “a great tragedienne, superb from start to finish” in the title role of Melba’s premiere recording of Saint-Saëns’s Hélène – will also be giving a masterclass on French song, accompanied by Ian Holtham, on July 2.

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The 80th birthday of Richard Bonynge, a Founding Honorary Patron of the Melba Foundation, is to be celebrated by a Gala Concert hosted by the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney.

Leading Australian and international operatic stars will share the stage with recent JSS Award-winners and Grant recipients to perform the repertoire that has become Maestro Bonynge’s musical signature in a conducting career that has spanned five decades.

The tribute concert will be held in the beautiful City Recital Hall at Angel Place in Sydney on Sunday 18 July in the presence of the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Prof. Marie Bashir AC CVO. Further details and booking information can be found on the JSS website.

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Melba Recordings Pty Ltd & Melba Foundation Ltd
PO Box 415, Elwood Victoria 3184 Australia
Phone: 613 9534 5004  Fax: 613 9593 8533  Email: info@melbarecordings.com.au

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