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SINGING HISTORY                                  


Childhood Days

Bachelor Days

Pre-Marriage Time

Marriage Years

Perilous Adventure - (2006)

Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest - 2004

Lucerne Mountains - 2006
Lugano Mountains - 2006

At a Home Party

In the post-war period, my late teens and as a young adult were spent in work, playing billiards, week-end swimming and reading hundreds of books of various genre.

Luckily there was also an opportunity to experience opera from Italian visiting companies who staged a 2 to 3 week yearly season.
Like any youngster, I loved to sing popular songs by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, the Minstrels etc but this operatic experience added the desire for operatic arias.

My poor mother suffered my full singing exuberance at home, until once or twice she became hysterical.and to my horror even fainted.
(Forgive me mum for my inconsideration)

Rediffusion system with audio cable covering all the island was the chief means of propagating news, music and plays during the war and the years after. My favourite program was the Monday evening operatic hour live program relayed from RAI around 1956. These I recorded with a Baird  tape-recorder (see picture), one of the first tape-recorders to arrive in the island and very heavy it was too!   As I then worked in electronics at H.M Dockyard I was able to record “directly” via two “nails” at the cabinet back which I wired directly to the Loudspeaker.This was an illegal thing to do, but it was a case of “force majeur”!

Who can ever forget famous names like Giuseppe di Stefano and many others singing “live” operatic arias. One then realises how voice is “manipulated” to make perfect but unnatural recordings, These arias were later transferred to miniature cassettes and then again to MP3 in my PC, thus sadly losing their true value.   I also bought many music sheets with tenor arias and in a few years I had learned about 60 tenor arias, mixed with a few baritone ones including a couple of bass arias, not to mention learning but not singing the female arias also. When I sang at home, I also acted the part in front of a full-length mirror. My favourites for acting were Manon Lescaut  “Guardate pazzo son”, Rigoletto  “Cortigiani vil razza”, Pagliacci “Vesti la giubba”, Trovatore “Di quella pira” etc

 The popular songs were never abandoned of course.

Family competition

When a younger brother by 9 yrs reached his late teens we started competing on who could reach the highest note and arguing about falsetto, chest voice, head voice etc. We still argue about it!
He joined a local youth choir but I declined the invitation as I was then more intesested in playing Billiards.
Eventually, that choir grew in stature to sing famous Oratorios using their own soloists.
Actually I joined them much later so that the choir could keep going because couples started marrying off and leaving, . My brother shifted to the baritone/base section to keep a respectable SATB balance..

Singing Excursion

For the first time in my life, in 1954 I was sent abroad by the Admiralty for a specialised electronics course at Collingwood, Portsmouth and during those 4 months I took the opportunity to visit London a few times plus many other places

This gave me a crave to see more thus a year later I joined an excursion to Italy and Austria. This is where I spent hours on the microphone singing songs in various languages during otherwise tedious coach trips.
For every trip, my table was rewarded by a bottle of “Chianti” for this and I shared it with four friends.

At Grinzing gardens in Vienna, I was plied with wine, so that when the accordeonist stopped for a breather, I immediately stood up and started singing Granada, à la Lanza”.. Forgive me if I mention that the other tourists gave me a standing ovation at the end.
I’m sure the wine helped I must admit and I drank more than my share unknowingly!.

This concludes the singing part of my care-free days

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