Since its first sold-out performance, audiences have thrilled to Anne’s telling of Kathleen Ferrier’s story, full of warmth, humour and tragedy - and illustrated with a wide variety of Kathleen's music. With her engaging English accent and a voice reminiscent of Ferrier’s, Anne successfully evokes the great singer's memory, including her “signature” songs such as Che Faro, Art Thou Troubled, The Stuttering Lovers and Blow the Wind Southerly.
Kathleen Ferrier was one of the iconic singers of the 20th Century, loved throughout the world. She thrived in the 1940s and early 1950s, at a time when war was devastating Europe, theatres were closed, people didn't quite have enough to eat, and the future was uncertain. Her voice brought comfort and beauty to people from all walks of life. She was a classical singer who enjoyed a bit of fun, a dirty joke and a good pint now and then.
Her life story has an almost legendary quality. Coming from a genteel but poor background - she had to leave school to get a job at the age of 14 - she accidentally discovers she can sing. Helped on by the war and her winning personality, she rises to be the most honoured and beloved singer of her time. Then, at the height of her powers, she tragically dies. Grown men – stoical Northern-English men – cried when they heard this news. They loved Kathleen so much because – through the timeless and beautiful quality of her voice – she had touched them to their core.
Kathleen's story, as told by Anne, is an entertaining and nostalgic trip into a bygone era, and a delightful biography. Its subject is a woman of humour and personality, who wrote wonderfully entertaining letters describing her experiences and the people she met. She was not afraid to be critical, and she wasn't writing for an audience - these were the days before super-stars and paparazzi - so she comes across as completely genuine and really nice. Anne's story captures this exquisitely with judicious selections from her letters and memoirs.
Anne's insights as a singer give her a unique perspective in understanding and illustrating Kathleen's unexpected rise to fame.
Her biography also sounds a cautionary note: Kathleen ignored the first signs of breast cancer and soldiered on regardless, eventually succumbing to the disease. She died at a tragically early age.
You don't have to be an "old person" or a classical music lover to enjoy this CD! You don't even have to be English! The story is timeless, the music great to listen to, and Anne's voice charming and engaging as she weaves the magic of Kathleen's story. As one reviewer said - this is a real treat!
Anne Lamont-Low is now married and living in the US where she is known by her married name, Anne Kania.