MARY GARDEN OPERA SINGER
Hi Jim, Just reading through this again and I would like to know if there is also a plaque at Belgrave Terrace. I found the following in a 1978 Leopard magazine which suggests
that one was planned.
Well, as I am now looking through the papers chronologically, it makes it easier to follow M.G.s actions. You may remember that the last post, from September 1948, indicated
that Mary intended to "accept" an American tour in October 1949.
Looking through the 1949 editions I saw no mention of this. However in the July 22nd Press and Journal, there is a photo of her opening the Torphins Gala Week County Fair.
Although nothing was mentioned of her possible upcoming tour up to this point, it looks as if she DID go, because I found this in the 1949 October 6th Evening Express.
Infuriatingly, the newspaper page has been poorly photocopied and is difficult to read. It seems she was to speak on "Men,Money and Music" but claimed to know nothing about
men, and not to careabout money.
This third one is from the Evening express of 1949 October 17th. Hopefully there will be more about the tour in later editions bot there was nothing more up to the end of the year.
We received,as a gift. "Bon accord. The story of Aberdeen" CD It has a special mention Of Mary Garden. The disk is beautifully done, takes you through the history of the city, and
lasts for 1 hour 30 minutes. I was not planning on sitting so long.
Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. It was good to have the board working throughout too. The administrators have done a good job. I do hope they remember our Scottish holiday
next week, at New Year.
Thank you Jim Brooks, this is a splendid contribution to 'thisisaberdeen.'
I never knew of her either.
And I think her not recording her work could be the reason.
She was clearly a stunning beauty as well as an accomplished songstress.
Thank you for your interesting feature report.
Delighted that you like it, Jock. I started this thread in the hope that people might post their personal memories of Mary Garden in Aberdeen. This didn't happen, but it's great to see
that the site gets a lot of hits, especially now that Haytoner is sharing those wonderful pieces he painstakingly copies from the library's back issues of EE. I know quite a lot about
Garden's career (in fact the trick isn't getting me to start talking about her - it's getting me to STOP!) but I'm fascinated at the interesting picture of her in Aberdeen that is emerging.
She may have been retired but she certainly wasn't retiring!
Haytoner asks if there's plaque in Belgrave Terrace. There's nothing on the flat she occupied, but there's a little one in the memorial garden at the end of the terrace. I can't stress too
much what a HUGE and controversial star she was in her day, especially in America when she was never out of the papers. Mind you, a lot of that had less to do with opera and
more to do with expert manipulation
With all due respect to Haytoner, his contribution to this post is really tremendous and I got so interested in reading the whole entry without stopping that it wasn't till the end that I
looked at the side and saw the names after I had sent my message. The whole story is refreshing and encouraging as well, thank you Haytoner.
I remember when I was 14 I danced and sang in vocal group on the stage of the Music Hall. What a night that was! And we had to have tanned make-up because we were
supposed to be gypsies. I was so happy, When it was over I never washed my face for three days.
I have been fascinated with this thread and learning more and more about Mary Garden. I hope that you don't mind but I have composed the thread as a web site and linked it to
my Ken Griffin Web Site.The direct link is:
Mary Garden Web Site
If any of you are not happy about this being used as a web site please say so and I will remove it. However, if you are happy with it I will continue to update the pages as new
comment and photos are added.
The web site will become a permanant site that anyone browsing the internet can find and hopefully more and more people get to know about Mary Garden and add to it if they
If you find any errors or missing links please let me know.
For the Mary Garden collectors, there is an original photo on e bay with only a couple hours to go.
I'm glad that other people have been enjoying this thread. It certainly makes it all worth while. That was a great idea LEL in making up that web site, well done. I'm sure Jim will
be delighted at seeing how his initial tentative post blossomed into this.
The next part of her story as I have been uncovering it, concerns her return from her tour of America.
It's not clear exactly when she returned to Aberdeen but her last engagement in USA was on boxing day 1949. I'm not sure how to take her remark about there being only one
place to sing in in the US, compared to 27 cities in France. The Americans must have been scratching their heads trying to decide whether it was an insult or a compliment.
Anyway, she had a fine old time and, setting her sights high as ever, seemed rather taken by the president, although I suppose the term "fit" had a different meaning in those days
to the modern connotation. This clipping is from the 1949 December 26th Evening Express.
The next clipping is from the 1950 January 13th Evening Express, so it looks like she had not then returned to Aberdeen. It is a fascinating little interview. It seems she was fed up
having to do "X-Factor" type judging. she was working on her autobiography at this time but I will let Jim Brooks tell you how that turned out.
Sorry I got the sizing a bit wrong on that last two.
It's wonderful reading these in order...almost like a wee soap opera, and some of the quotes are great!