Dame Joan Hammond: Love and Music by Sara Hardy

By Sara Hardy

A lifestyles necessary of a diva—a tale of risk, love, sacrifice, and the fickleness of destiny. Joan Hammond lived a unprecedented lifestyles, as dramatic and deeply relocating as any of the operatic roles for which she grew to become famous—Tosca, Mimi, Butterfly, Aida, Salome, Rusalka. No stranger to luck, in her formative years Joan was once a golf champion, excelling at so much activities. however it was once her voice that took her on a life-changing trip to Europe the place the opulent pre-war theaters turned her area. Ever passionate, consistently beneficiant, and not wasting her Australian accessory, Joan Hammond was once an inspiring personality; but behind the curtain she confronted many demanding twists of fortune. Joan's exhilarating performances brought opera and classical track to hundreds of thousands of individuals, world-wide. She grew to become little-known arias into renowned hits and pioneered the way in which for Australian artists at the global level. while her personal acting and recording days have been over, she dedicated herself to coaxing Australian opera into existence no longer least via instructing younger singers. Sara Hardy tells Joan's lifestyles tale in all its glamour and complexity. via interviews with family members and outdated buddies, she captures Joan's joie de vivre—that really good sparkle that by no means left her eyes.

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Extra info for Dame Joan Hammond: Love and Music

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The Marriotts lived in a mansion called ‘Hawthroy’ in Albany Road, Toorak, and they had two children, Ron and Lolita. Ron was studying science at university and was destined to join his father in the business. Lolita was seventeen and spent most of her days playing golf and having a pleasant time. Joan became very fond of the whole family, and Lolita eventually became one of the most important people 35 Da m e J oa n H a m m o n d in her life. But for the moment, in 1932, Lolita was a teenager with thick plaits, a dominant mother, and no particular focus.

Hilda often accompanied Joan on these engagements, as support, but also as a way of enjoying some reflected success. Hilda was happy to be ‘Joan Hammond’s mother’, especially in later years. Her world had crumbled and there was little hope of restoration: gone was the big house, the Packard car, the domestic servants. She blamed Samuel rather than Wall Street for their losses, and never forgave him. It’s difficult to know what Joan’s attitude was toward her mother, given that she’d never talk about her.

On Joan’s suggestion they invited Miss Leo Wray, a highly regarded golfing celebrity, to act as manager and fundraising co-ordinator. This was an inspired choice because she had contacts that went deep into the inner networks of the Ladies’ Golf Union. Funds came from a multitude of sources, but it was the New South Wales Ladies’ Golf Union that pushed the hardest to reach that target. Initial meetings showed promise. A public gathering in November 1935 attracted nearly a hundred people. Lady Gowrie, Sir Henry Braddon MP, Lute Drummond, and Madame Cherniasvksy made glow­ing speeches about the outstanding prospects that awaited Joan if she were to study overseas—and there was a generous response.

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