The Singing Elms - The Autobiography of Lauris Elms
Sir Charles Mackerras:
Lauris in her day was one of the great Australian Singers. now she has added writing to her achievements.
Dame Joan Sutherland:
i am sure this book will be avidly read by the opera and concert going public, and that they will have almost as much pleasure from it as i have. More
The story of Lauris Elms’ great career documents a fascinating period in the musical history of Australia, as classical singers, distinguished overseas, struggled for recognition and professional respect in their own country. with candour and a wry sense of humour, she recalls the triumphs, doubts, challenges and disappointments of an artist whose vocation was distinguished by a constant striving for the highest standards of artistic excellence.
Lauris Elms has given us an autobiography of endearing frankness. This is the story of a truly Australian career, and Australian by choice. as a girl growing up in the country south of Melbourne, a student of violin and a talented painter, she brings the era to life and shows us the provincial music scene with its problems and charms.
After her studies in Paris with her adored Modestis she was engaged at Covent Garden where she appeared in: A Masked Ball, the Trojans, the Tales of Hoffmann, Handel’s Samson, Elektra, the Walkyrie, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rigoletto, and Lucia. Her voice was a true contralto, a great and beautiful instrument and was much admired. I can remember her inspiring performance as Micah in Samson as if it were yesterday.
Her worldwide career loomed ahead and Covent Garden offered her further work. She gave it all up to return to Australia to be with her academic husband. The world’s loss was Australia’s gain.
She spent the next thirty years as a musical pioneer in Australia singing not only the great warhorses of Handel, Bach and Beethoven, but championing the works of Mah1er and introducing music unknown to Australia for the first time