My mother (Ailsa Groom) was a classically trained singer (trained by Lucy Howell, as many of her singing friends were) in Perth in the 1930’s/40’s and beyond.
I think, with her encouragement, my father (Clive Groom) and our next door neighbour (Clarrie Scott) started the wheels turning to form the WA Opera Company.
I remember my dad and Clarrie Scott meeting on a Sunday morning in our lounge room (after church and before Sunday roast lamb) and we three girls were instructed to be very quiet while the meetings were held. Vin Warrener was also frequently in attendance. I remember Giuseppe Bertinazzo becoming involved a little later as well. I was about 10 at the time – the youngest of the three girls.
I do remember going to the first Season of the WA Opera Company. My parents were very proud, being instrumental in the formation of the WA Opera Company and I was equally proud as their daughter. We girls were up in ‘The Gods’. I can’t remember now whether it was Carmen or La Traviata but considering our young age, we did enjoy ourselves. In my teen and early adult years opera didn’t really interest me ( I was more of a Bob Dylan, Beatles and Rolling Stones kind of girl) but now I love going to the Opera as do my sisters. I particularly love the Italian composers and like my mother, can’t go past Madama Butterfly as the most beautiful.