A tribute to Kathleen Ferrier

One hundred years after her birth in 1912, and her untimely death in 1952 aged 41, the English contralto Kathleen Ferrier remains a revered and much-loved figure.

In her honour, mezzo-soprano Prudence Dunstone and pianist Maryleigh Hand present A Tribute to Kathleen Ferrier to recreate some of the aura around Ferrier and the songs she sang.

Mezzo-soprano Prudence Dunstone (left) with pianist Maryleigh Hand

 Kathleen Ferrier started her working life as a telephonist, and intended to be a pianist. It was only in 1937 that she turned to singing as a profession and had 16 years of a stellar career before she died of cancer in 1953.

She was a favourite of conductor Bruno Walter and together they made numerous recordings and gave many performances, Mahler being a favourite choice. Art Song and oratorio were Ferrier’s domain, and her performance as the Angel in the Barbirolli conducted performances of The Dream of Gerontius is legendary. She undertook just two operatic roles, the first being in the premiere of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Glyndebourne in 1946, and the other, in Gluck’s Orfeo, the following year.

In their recital, the first for 2012, Prudence Dunstone and Maryleigh Hand will perform songs and arias by Handel, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and of course, English language art songs all from Ferrier’s repertoire.

The concert will support Act For Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.

Suggested donation $20/$10 concession.


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