23 comments on “A different kind of musical post. Dame Nellie Melba, 1927.

  1. Delightful!!!… thank you so much Metan. Of course I know of our Dame Nellie Melba, Melba Toast, seen her photos etc but have never heard her sing. I loved it 🙂 … cheers

    • Don’t forget the Peach Melba! 😀
      So pleased you liked it, I really liked the parts of the clip where she is just being a person. It is hard to imagine these long ago figures actually being normal people sometimes.

      • Yes, don’t forget the delicious Peach Melba!

        I’m trying to come up with more recent desserts named for famous singers. I can’t imagine a Michael Jackson sundae, can you?

        • I can’t think of a single one! these days it is all about signature fragrances and clothing labels isn’t it?
          Judging by the allegations thrown around in regards to the death of Michael Jackson his dessert would only be available under prescription!

  2. Great clip, the glimpse into old times facscinating. Dame Nellie Melba appears very real and relaxed, particulary dancing with the cockatoo 🙂 I looked her up on Wiki and was amused to read “made a legendary number of “farewell” appearances”. I wonder if that’s where John Farnham got the inspiration for his many farewell concerts 🙂

    • Probably! 😉
      It is a great clip isn’t it. Yay for the person who bothered to edit all the bits together. While YouTube can be a bad thing it is wonderful for things like this isn’t it? What were the chances of any of us ever seeing her on film anywhere else?
      There is a museum in Lilydale, not too far from Coombe Cottage, that has a lot of Melba memorabilia but I don’t remember actually seeing any footage of her there. (It has been a long time since I have been there though).
      I was amazed to find that she left her husband to pursue a singing career. Back in the 1800’s that would have been something completely unexpected. She certainly had an interesting life.

      • Wiki’s account of it is “The marriage was not a success; Charles reportedly beat his wife more than once. The couple separated after little more than a year, and Melba returned to Melbourne determined on a singing career”. Good on her 🙂

        • The bio I included the link to suggests that she was sick of country life and that is why she left. It then goes on to say they didn’t truly break up until they had a big fight before on of her performances years later. Somehow I think your average well-treated wife wouldn’t leave her husband for the bright lights back then unless she had real reason.
          It sounds like she had the support of her father the whole time though, I guess without that hers might have been a very different story.

  3. I’ve seen her ‘cottage’, at least from the outside. 🙂 She was an amazing woman for her times, and not just because she helped put us on the cultural map. The thing I found most fascinating was that she spoke with no hint of strine. I guess all prominent Australians of that era had elocution lessons so they would sound English rather than Australian. Believe it or not we had an elocution lesson once a week when I was in primary school! I think I prefer us sounding like ourselves. 🙂

    • I haven’t seen it from the inside, although I would love to. Imagine if she could see Coldstream now!

      I guess the Aussie strine has been something that developed over the years. The mid 1800’s was the start of the goldrush, most of the people in Australia then would have originated in other countries. It would have been some time before all those accents melded together to give us our distinctive drawl. Those from the upper classes (or who aspired to be there) would have been careful to sound as cultured as possible, hmmmm… If only some of those who strive for fame these days put a bit more effort into sounding intelligent eh?!

      • lmao – I never thought of our accent in historical terms before but you’re absolutely right. And yes, I could think of a poli or two who could come across as less thick.

        Just by the by, I saw Clive Palmer on the TV the other night.
        . . .

        • I didn’t see Clive having his say, did I miss much? I have heard Julia on the radio over and over today having a cry as she delivers her disability aid speech. Call me cynical but they seemed like crocodile tears to me.
          It is a very emotive issue and I bet there were more than a few tears shed today by people who will benefit from it but I think that Julia thought she had better seem more empathetic coming up to the election.
          Call me even more cynical but if she manages to hold onto office I bet there will be a time when they want to cut the disability funding. She will be able to say that they really had no choice (and that it is somehow the previous governments fault) and that she is sorry but remember how important it was to her at the time, she cried after all!

          Speaking of Julia, I wonder where her unusual fishwife accent originated! 😉

          • I watched politicians from both sides saying Julia’s emotional speech was ‘genuine’ but, like you I’m not buying it. When Anna Bligh almost lost it during the Queensland floods, /that/ was real. This long, wobbly voiced melodrama? I think not.

            I suspect that if Julia Guillard truly was feeling emotional it was because the Disability legislation will be remembered as /her/ legacy and despite everything else, she will have made a ‘good’ place for herself in the history books.

            I truly hope that no government reneges on Disability. I have a friend whose son has Duchenne. His life expectancy is maybe 20, if he is lucky. She lives a nightmare every single day. This legislation is OWED, many times over to the carers as well as the disabled.

            Phew, sorry for the rant, I know you feel the same. As for Julia’s delightful accent? God alone knows but it is extreme. Maybe she has adenoids or something…

          • Rant away. 😀 Have you been listening to 774 this morning? There has been a discussion about the genuineness of Julia’s tears and some people have been complaining that those of us who thought it wasn’t real are heartless. To me the tell was when she finished her speech and had a good look around to the crowd. I doubt a person who usually tries to be steely and who had really lost control of their emotions in such a public forum would be so quick to check who was watching, they would be far more likely to be self-conscious about it. Anna Bligh really cried and got nothing but respect for it. Julia’s tears? Not so convincing.

            I really hope they don’t renege on it either. I have many friends with kids with a variety of disabilities, some of whom will never live independently. The thought of what will happen to their kids when they are too old or frail to look after them is just terrifying. Hopefully the disability scheme is rolled out quickly and, most importantly, effectively.

          • I’m with you 100%. On both points. I’ve had my head down and bum up today so haven’t been listening to 774 but I’m glad at least some of the voting public isn’t fooled. I’d be really ashamed if our BS meter stopped working.

            Hopefully the disability scheme will be too big, too popular and too visible to roll back. Yes Tony Abbott, I’m looking at you.

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