Joan & Jackie

A funny and informative interview with Marilyn "Jackie" Horne and Joan Sutherland from Life Magazine '70 can be read here - A Tour of Two Great Throats.  You'll want to scroll a few pages up to the read it from the beginning. I stumbled upon this article in the process of looking for more information on Sutherland's mother. The NYTimes obit stated that she studied with Mathilde Marchesi, which seemed a bit of a stretch.

And indeed it is. After a trip to the library when no online sources were forthcoming, I learned that Sutherland's mother studied with Burns Walker, a student of Nellie Melba (Singers of Australia by Barbara & Findlay Mackenzie, 1967).  It was Melba who had studied with Mathilde Marchesi

But back to the Life article.  Sutherland and Horne sound like two pals chumming and hamming it up for the interviewer; making comments about weight, the trials of being onstage, audiences, and all manner of things including vocal technique.

If you know where to look, you can find just about anything.


Glad you're so willing to do the work of digging this great stuff up!
What a great article! Thank you for the link.
Ranta said…
Amazing stuff. Though I hate the phrase "breathe with the diaphragm" because it makes no sense physiologically -- and I think it's really important to know what the respiratory system does when you breathe so that you can connect sensations to physical action, and, well, you can't really breathe without it -- I do understand what Sutherland meant in context.

It's just so remarkable to hear two masters of their craft talking shop. Most wonderful is the idea that two people will have two completely opposite ideas about what they're doing technically to produce the same effect, and both ways work equally well.

Thanks for sharing. It's got my mind a-spinning.
Anonymous said…
Excellent article! Good work on finding it!

I also read somewhere that Joan's mother was taught by Marchesi and am very happy to now know that it was in fact Melba.

I am still confused, however, that Joan's mother was taught by Melba and yet according to this article below, she was apparently "brought up to believe that Wagner was the great god". The article also says that her mother accused Bonynge (her husband) of ruining her daughter's voice when he convinced her to leave Wagnerian singing behind for the revival of bel canto. Would you know what this is all about?
(side note: I am new to the world of classical singing, so this answer may be obvious to everyone else)
Anonymous said…
sorry I just realised I read wrong- you said it was Burns Walker, who studied with Melba, who taught Joan's mother. Either way, I'm still confused about that article I posted above!