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MARTIN CLARE

The story of Martin Clare in the W.A.O.C. I  joined the Opera Company in 1970. This followed an appearance on Channel 7’s “New Faces.” An adjudicator was Harry Bluck who was in involved with the Opera Company. He suggested that I had a good voice and should take singing lessons and join the opera company. I found a Giuseppe Bertinazzo as a teacher and of course he was the founder membe [...]

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TONY COCKBAIN

Tuning up In the mid 1970\'s or early 1980\'s I saw The Merry Widow at His Majesty’s—one of the first operas I ever saw. I was an experienced concert goer, attending the WASO series nearly every year. What surprised me at the Maj was the length of time the orchestra took to tune up, and how loud the tuning up process was; quite a contrast to what I had been used to at the Concert Hall. [...]

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MARGARIE FLETCHER

In the first production of Carmen in 1968, in the final performance all the Chorus was waiting to come on after the bull fight behind a flat and just as Don Jose (played by Lloyd Masel) was about to stab Carmen (played by Doris Dodd at that performance and Lesley Perrin), Kenneth Peggs who was playing Zuniga pushed the flat the wrong way and it fell down leaving all the Chorus open mouthed a [...]

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LYNELLE GROOM

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 [...]

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MARILYN PHILLIPS

West Australian Opera – 1995-2005 – a view from the trenches…… It seems like only yesterday that, having moved from London to Perth two years earlier, I joined West Australian Opera as Head of Music in 1995, with Lindy Hume as Artistic Director. Richard Mills was appointed Artistic Director in 1996 and the thirtieth birthday of WAO was celebrated in 1997 both with a Gala Concert at Per [...]

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MARTIN CLARE

My time with W.A. O. C 1970- 1983 I came to Perth in 1970. Someone heard me singing and suggested that I go on Perth’s New Faces. I went there and sang reasonably well. Mr Harry Bluck was an adjudicator and said that I had a good voice and should take lessons. I explained that I had only just arrived from U.K. and was trying to establish myself and family. He suggested that I could joi [...]

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ANNE WATSON

It was the Entertainment Centre,  Act 2,  Mikado with June Bronhill as Yum Yum  The chorus had just finished as we heard  noises like hailstone on the roof.  They were the ‘nails’ holding up the screen on the roof and they began  tumbling down onto the stage.   Eventually the screen holder, an 18 foot long steel screen, came tumbling down onto the stage  and swiped me on the shoulder, knocki [...]

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TIM SCHOENMAKERS

A wardrobe malfunction can even happen in the opera! In the WAO production of Norma done some years ago, starring the late, great Elizabeth Connell, the chorus and supers were preset behind the curtain for the opening. The 2 male supers were only wearing loincloths and just before the curtain went up they were given the signal to dip both hands into a cauldron of fake blood. On this particul [...]

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XAVIER COTTON

My wife and I have a “Couples Bucket List”. One of the items high on our agenda was to attend an opera. Our first ever opera was “The Elixir of Love”. Wow! Absolutely loved everything about our evening. The production was fabulous, the singing was extraordinary, the orchestra was superb, the venue was unmatched, the audience was fully engaged. I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. I [...]

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ALEX CHIN

The winter of 1992 saw me experience my first Opera, Carmen. A scene to be had with 30 year 8 music students in their best dressed and our music teacher in a elegant fur coat. The stage & the music still captivates me to this day and I try to share that joy with other who have not had the chance. Thank you WA Opera for making life that much more beautiful for us all! Alex Chin

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Telling Stories