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MAESTRO RICHARD BONYNGE celebrates his 80th birthday on 29 September. Melba congratulates him and wishes him a long and productive career still to come.
   We are proud to have Mr Bonynge, as both a Patron and a recording artist, associated with Melba Recordings from our foundation. The Bonynge Edition forms a solid core of our discography.
   Richard Bonynge recently talked of his career – both the past and projects yet to come – with Michael Shmith. Read the interview here >>>



LADY PRIMROSE POTTER AC [seen here in a 1964 photo with her poodle Yogi] was a founding Chair of the Melba Foundation. Her advocacy has brought sponsorship and other support, without which Melba Recordings would not have been able to undertake the recording projects of which we are so proud.
   Ian Perry asked Lady Potter to look back over her long involvement with the performing arts and the interview is here >>>


[Lolita Marriott, Cheryl Barker & Joan Hammond]

CHERYL BARKER'S relationship with Melba Recordings stretches back almost to the label’s beginning. Puccini≡Passion, her 2003 collection of arias with Richard Bonynge conducting Orchestra Victoria – was only Melba’s sixth release since launching three years earlier.
      Now, the much-in-demand Australian-born soprano has returned to record her long-overdue follow up – A Tribute to Dame Joan Hammond. It’s a disc, she says, “that feels as if it’s been a long time coming” and which takes her back to another beginning – of her own career.

      "I studied with Joan Hammond at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was Head of Voice. On first impressions she was formidable in a way, had a certain air about her that was a little bit frightening. But actually, when you were one of her pupils, she was fantastic.”
      When Barker left the VCA, she remained a student of her renowned elder, who, she discovered, “let her guard down in private and you got to know the real Joan Hammond. In a class situation she was very much the Diva, but in a one-to-one lesson she had a wicked sense of humour and you could have a laugh with her”.

[Cheryl Barker's conversation with Michael Quinn is here >>>]


Viola player Roger Benedict’s first recording for Melba, Volupté, has been one of the highlights of our year, attracting unanimous praise at home and abroad for playing described as “compelling”, “deeply affecting”, and “mesmeric”. Michael Quinn, Associate Editor of theclassicalreview.com, offers a personal introduction to a revealing and wide-ranging interview Roger gave to Melba’s Ian Perry…

When Melba released viola player Roger Benedict’s acclaimed recital recording debut, Volupté, earlier this year, its ravishing pairing of music by Koechlin and Jongen (accompanied by pianist Timothy Young) introduced to record buyers around the world a talent that concert goers have long held in the highest regard.

That Benedict – Principal Viola of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of its Fellowship Program, whose career has encompassed work as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and conductor – should have come so late to recording is surely one of the great mysteries of modern musical life. A seasoned veteran on the concert platform and in the classroom, Benedict spent nine conspicuous years as Principal Viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, has guested with all of the UK’s major orchestras, and regularly fills the lead viola chair with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As a chamber musician, he has played alongside luminaries of the calibre of Lorin Maazel, Sir Simon Rattle, Louis Lortie and Leif Ove Andsnes. Benedict, in other words, really is that good.

What emerges most eloquently from his interview with Ian Perry is an image of a passionate but refreshingly levelheaded musician in thrall to music and in love with music making.


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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