In October 2001 a great admirer of June Bronhill from London made
contact with me via email. He had seen this website and contacted me to thank me for the work in putting it together. We corresponded
with each other and he then asked me to recount my memories of seeing June Bronhill to him. Geoff Bowden is his name. Geoff
has a great knowledge of June's career in the UK prior to 1976 (when she moved back to Australia to live) and saw her many
times in person in various shows and operas. Geoff asked if I could provide details of June's career post-1976. As I began
digging deep into my memory bank I realised that whilst I remembered all the Bronhill performances I had seen, I found it
hard to come up with the exact dates or even months for some shows, hence my belated decision to "write down" all I can remember
before more time slips away. I will use every resource at my disposal, including the internet, to accurately document the
second half of her career as I saw it.
As a very young teenager growing up in the 1960's in country NSW Australia,
my first recollection of this great singer was a 1/2 hour television show on the ABC hosted by Gordon Boyd. Little did I realise
then what a great impact this wonderful entertainer would have on my life in the years to come.At that time I was into all
the usual music teenagers like, yet, something about June appealed to me and I credit that show with "sowing the seed" if
you like, in my mind. I even remember Gordon Boyd asking if success had changed June Gough (her real name) and she replied
"oh Gordon, of course not". Regrettably, I cannot remember the songs she sang that evening but I recall she had piano accompanyment.
Many years later, I am still searching for an audio copy of that show, so far with no success.
For me there was to
be no further exposure to June until January 1975 when a huge charity concert was organised at the Sydney Opera House by pianist
Roger Woodwood to assist victims of cyclone Tracey which had devestated the Australian city of Darwin on Christmas Day 1974.
I wasn't able to get tickets to the show but heard that it went very well. It was pretty much middle of the road entertainment
June sang "Vilia" and then coupled with Donald Smith to sing "Make Believe" from 'Showboat". A rare double LP album exists
of the concert.
The first time I actually saw and heard June live was in December 1975 when she gave two concerts
in the lovely concert hall of the Sydney Opera House. At that time I was living in inner Sydney and some 20 minutes away from
the Opera House and the many other musical venues the city has to offer. A good friend of mine, who also lived nearby, arranged
tickets to both concerts. When the night of the first concert finally arrived, I was quite excited but not tremendously so.
That was until June made her spectacular entrance to the stage in a flowing red gown singing a lovely aria from Donizetti's
"Daughter of the Regiment." After that I was hooked. I wondered how such an amazing and surprisingly powerful voice could
come from such a small person (June is 4' 11' tall) It was a wonderful evening and June sang and interacted with the audience
as only she can, culminating in the audience 'eating from her hand' by the end of the night. The second concert was great
but the audience was slightly smaller than that of the previous night. I also thought the first night audience was more appreciative
and responsive. Both concerts were recorded and the pick of the numbers put onto an album issued in early 1976 titled "June
Bronhill at the Sydney Opera House." The LP runs for nearly an hour and includes a good selection of operatic arias, operetta
and musical comedy. One of my favourite songs of the time "I don't know how to love him" from Jesus Christ Superstar was sung
by June that night but unfortunately didn't make it onto disc for some reason. Also I believe she sang "Berlington Bertie
from Bow" and that was omitted to. In the late 1980's the concert LP was reissued on compact disc and audio cassette. Unfortunately,
all copies of the CD I heard were faulty with significant audio drop-outs on a number of tracks. Either the original tapes
had deteriorated or there had been a fault in the digital remaster to disc. I still can't believe these discs were released
to the paying public. So, if anyone is seeking this concert, get a good copy of the original LP album rather than CD or cassette.
Well, after these concerts I was a "full-on" June Bronhill fan. How lucky was I that she had decided to once again call Australia
home? After the concerts she returned to London to fulfill engagements then returned to Australia in mid 1976 when I next
saw her perform.
Prior to 1976 I had never set foot inside an opera house but upon reading that the Australian Opera's
1976 Winter season was to include June, I immediately subscribed for that season. Not only that, but I got a front row seat
to boot! Looking back, I have to say that June's performances as Gilda in "Rigoletto" are for me the highlight of her wonderful
career as I saw it. I love Verdi's music and this opera is my all time favourite. June was wonderful as usual and I got to
see her 3 times. On the first occasion, when Gilda makes her entrance down the big staircase to meet Rigoletto, her father,
the audience went wild with applause, such was June's popularity with Australian opera audiences. I knew from that moment
that we were in for a great afternoon's entertainment and we were not disappointed. I had heard her sing 'Caro nome' at the
concert six months prior and obviously she had been rehearsing the role for some time. This time her rendition was even better
and her beautiful coloratura voice, then at it's peak, caressed and trilled it's way through the aria. The tenor Reginald
Byers was good and the baritone Raymond Myers was excellent as Rigoletto. He and June's wonderful Vendetta duet was probably
the highlight of the entire performance. June finished on an amazing high note - so powerful and clear that I can still recall
it today. Another highlight of the opera for me was the lovely quartet between Gilda, Rigoletto, the Duke and Maddelina. Some
sopranos finish this on a low note, June took a high note and her voice carried so well. The orchestra and chorus at those
performances were conducted by William Reid whom June has worked with so many times over the years, starting at the very beginning
of her recording career in 1958 with the Sadler's Wells "Merry Widow" LP.
Towards the end of 1976 I read that June,
along with Dame Joan Sutherland and other Australian artists, was to perform in an all-Australian concert for UNICEF in the
General Assembly Hall at New York. The concert was to be broadcast on television and June was to sing the 'Ah, vous diraije,
maman' by Mozart and 'Vilia' from Merry Widow by Lehar. I think we must have got an edited version on television because I
can only remember her singing the vilia - Mozart's concert aria was probably omitted to make way for more commercials! Anyway,
it was a good concert and I remember thinking how well June sang that evening. I believe that was the only occasion on which
she sang in the U.S.A.
The year 1977 was a bumper year as far as I'm concerned and I saw and heard June on at least
10 occasions that I can recall. One of the best shows of that year was "The Music of Sigmund Romberg" which was playing at
the Seymour Centre, near Sydney Central Rail Station. As I lived only 10 minutes from the theatre, I saw that show about 6
times. June's voice was so well suited to those lovely Romberg operetta songs from 'The Student Prince', 'The New Moon' and
'The Desert Song.' A couple of the many highlights of the evening for me were her renditiions of the 'Sabre song' (Desert
Song) and 'Deep in my heart dear' from Student Prince. But of course, the whole show was superb. Her leading tenor was named
Youseff Karooz (spelling?) and he had a lovely strong voice. The names of other performers escape me now but they too were
all good. The show had a strong chorus and a small orchestra. The Seymour Centre is a small theatre with seating for maybe
300 people but with a reasonable sized stage. The seating is situated in a semi-circle around the stage - very intimate. Wonderful
venue for a show such as this.
On the 12th August 1977 June gave a recital at St. Stephen's Church, Macquarie Street,
Sydney. This launching set in train a series of 100 recitals in Churches and Chapels throughout Australia. The proceeds by
way of the sale of programmes to the recitals was pooled for donation to the nominated charities and Church funds of the Anglican
Church, Catholic Church and the Uniting Church. The campain raised some $250,000. One of these recitals was at the Anglican
church in Ashfield, inner Sydney. Of course I booked a seat for it and again was not disappointed with June's performance.
One thing I can honestly say about June Bronhill is that she always gave her very best on the night. Of the many occasions
I have seen her perform, she has always given her audiences value for money. Anyway, the recital was wonderful because I knew
all of the lovely songs and hymns. The evening was called "Songs of Love and Praise". June also read poetry that evening.
A special, limited edition LP record was released to coincide with the tour and to this day the album remains one of my very
favourites. It contains many of the numbers she did throughout the tour. It was at the conclusion of this recital that I met
June for the first and only time. A few fans had lined up to get her autograph and I had taken along a copy of the then new
album "June Bronhill at the Sydney Opera House" which she kindly signed for me. I and a couple of friends waited outside the
Church at the conclusion of the night and hoped to see June again. She appeared and looked so glamorous in a long white mink
fur coat - every bit the star that she was and still is. I remember she tripped slightly on the stairs while making her way
to the limousene and hurt her ankle - I hoped she hadn't hurt herself too much.
Another wonderful afternoons singing
came from the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney when June, Donald Smith, Lauris Elms and other singers from the Australian
Opera were to perform and receive some form of recognition for their services. From memory they were given a bottle of bubbly
each and perhaps a certificate of appreciation. Anyway, prior to performing, each singer came on stage and was duly presented
with the champagne and then lined up across the stage. For the next 45 minutes or so, we the audience, and the singers, had
to endure the most dreadful time while some boorish woman gave a looooong speech about her achievements for the Conservatorium.
I was looking at June who was obviously bored too and had began talking quietly to Donald Smith. After about hour June placed
her bottle of champagne on the stage floor, obviously tired of holding it for so long and I remember Donald Smith and one
or two other singers did the same thing. Anyway at the conclusion of the speech, this woman was given a rousing applause not
because anyone enjoyed what she had said, but simply because we were all grateful that the agony had come to an end. However,
that said, the singing was worth waiting for a most enjoyable afternoon.
During her career June did a lot of club
work in Australia, particularly throughout the 1970s, and it was at some of these venues that I once again had the pleasure
of seeing and hearing her perform. One performance that sticks in my mind was in St. Marys, Western Sydney. It was a hot night,
really uncomfortable, and I felt sorry for June. Halfway through the performance she asked that all the outer doors of the
venue be opened. Even if it meant a few mozzies getting into the place, at least we had some fresh air. Poor June looked so
hot and bothered, but, as usual, she gave her very best. Another to come to mind was at the Manly R.S.L. club where she performed
in concert with the late Donald Smith who was Australias greatest tenor, in my opinion. How I wish those two had recorded
an album of operatic duets together. It was a wonderful night indeed as their beautiful voices blended perfectly together
in an evening of opera and operetta favourites. One thing I recall from that evening, apart from the great singing, was how
reserved Donald Smith appeared to be. He seemed to be a little ill at ease on stage. Quite the opposite to June, who always
had a bright and bubbling stage personality.
Early in 1978 I cannot recall the month, June appeared at the then newly
refurbished historic theatre in Richmond, NSW which was then owned by television personality Mike Walsh. It had been a grand
old picture theatre which had been let run down before Mike Walsh came to the rescue. After restoration, it was to be used
for both movies and live theatre. I believe June was the first artist to appear in this newly decorated theatre. A lovely
nights entertainment was had by all and once again June performed a good mix of opera, operetta and musical comedy numbers.
June always varied the content of her concerts, unlike other singers who present much the same material time after time.
1978 found me at the Rockdale Town Hall where a local musical Society was presenting Stephen Sondheims A Little Night Music.
June played the leading role and her rendition of Send in the Clowns was extremely well received. Mind you, Rockdale Town
Hall is (or was) directly under a flight path to Sydney airport and at times it was a little difficult to hear what was going
on. A marvelous night with some wonderful talented people including the Western Sinfonia made up of many young musical artists.
Regrettably, I believe this was the last time I saw June in person. Soon afterwards I became married and we had 2 wonderful
children so my time (and money) was somewhat restricted. I did however follow Junes career more or less up until her retirement
in 1993. She went on to do many more lovely musicals including My Fair Lady, The Maid of the Mountains, the 1981 London stage
production of The Sound of Music in which she portrayed the Mother Abbess and The Pirates of Penzance with Jon English and
Marina Prior and more. She then branched into comedy and straight plays and did 2 television series of Are you being served?
with English star John Inman as well as a role in the show Behind Bars Her last show was titled How to Succeed in Show Business
with Really Trying. Her co-star was Tom Burlingson I believe. It was during this show that she began having difficulty with
her hearing and according to her biography The Merry Bronhill was beginning to sing off key because of this problem.
really regret not having kept a diary during those exciting years but at the time it didnt even enter my mind. Hopefully you
have enjoyed my account of those years and if I can remember more specific details I will of course update this page.
a great artist June Bronhill has been - a great example for younger singers to follow. I do believe there is an annual June
Bronhill scholarship awarded to young singers in South Australia and I shall be making further enquires about this. Unfortunately,
today there does not seem to be anyone on the scene who is as exciting as her, at least not for me. Her bubbly colourful personality
and glorious voice will live with me forever.
THANK YOU JUNE BRONHILL.
MEMORIES OF JUNE
By Geoff Bowden
I first saw June in 1968 when the pre-London tour of The Dancing Years opened at
Birmingham Hippodrome. I was at college in Birmingham at the time and having just two years earlier, helped backstage with
an amateur production of Novellos musical, was eager to see a professional staging of the show. I was no stranger to Junes
singing at the time as I possessed quite a few of her show and operetta recordings but I had never seen her live.
first impression was that June was much smaller than I expected but when she started to sing her first number Waltz Of My
Heart wow! The voice just soared through the song and Ill never forget the packed houses response at the end of the number.
The applause was deafening! I left the theatre that evening a fully paid-up member of Junes fan club. I took my parents to
the show the following weekend and caught up with the production again when it opened at the Saville Theatre in London. The
show only had a short stay in the West End and then it was off on tour again. I discovered that it was to appear at Bristol
Hippodrome, just 11 miles away from my hometown of Bath, so I booked again. Sadly June had to withdraw from the production
with serious eye problems so I didnt get to see her in the show again. On the Sunday after the Bristol run there was an horrific
car accident in which two chorus members were injured and another member of the chorus and the leading tenor were killed.
The show managed to play Coventry but then came to a halt. Before I leave The Dancing Years, I should mention that only last
week I met Moyna Cope, who sang Wings Of Sleep with June in the show. She and June became good friends and Moyna spoke with
great affection of June saying that June was that rarity: a great singer who was also an excellent actress.
saw June in early 1970 in a tour of Noel Cowards Bitter Sweet. I booked to see the show at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham
and thought it would be nice to meet June. I looked in The Stage newspaper at the tour dates and wrote to her at the venue
she was appearing at the time asking if I could call backstage at Birmingham. Well, a couple of weeks passed by and I heard
nothing and I resigned myself to not hearing from her. Then on the day before my journey to Birmingham I arrived home from
work to find my mother waving a telegram at me. Inside were the words Looking forward to meeting you after the show Bronhill.
I was absolutely thrilled that she had taken the trouble to send that and Ive still got the telegram preserved in its envelope!
When I chatted with her after the show I mentioned that I was attending the following nights performance with my parents and
June told me to bring my parents round backstage afterwards! June was so kind to me that evening and also gave me her address
and telephone number so that I could contact her for concert dates etc. For several years after that we exchanged Christmas
cards and I often saw her backstage after concerts and shows.
June was absolutely superb as Sari in Bitter Sweet,
topping and tailing the show as a 70 year old woman and then going back over the characters life as a young and then middle
aged woman. Her version of Zigeuner in the last act, with just on stage piano accompaniment, was spine tingling,
saw June in a tour of Novellos Glamorous Night and the following year she starred in a tour of the same composers Perchance
To Dream. Appearing with her in both productions was Olive Gilbert, who was in the original productions of both shows. In
Perchance Olive played the same role as she had played originally but did not attempt to sing her big number Highwayman Love.
Instead, June sang it and what a wonderful job she made of it.
June also sang Highwayman Love when she appeared in
a variety show at the London Palladium with Tommy Steele in 1973, where she closed the first half. I saw her twice during
the shows run but on the second occasion left after her act, as I couldnt face sitting through the ever smiling Mr. Steeles
spot more than once! To paraphrase a popular Al Jolson song Id walk a million miles from one of his smiles!!!
also appeared in a summer show in, I think, 1972. It was at Great Yarmouths Britannia Pier and she appeared with Russ Conway
and three members of The Comedians TV show, which was very popular at that time. I remember June opened her act with Tonight/
I Feel Pretty from West Side Story and followed with Danny Boy, Vilia and ended with a rousing The Holy City. I met her afterwards
and was invited to a nearby restaurant where she was going with one of the girl dancers. There she told me that she was very
excited about a new West End musical that she had just been booked for, called London Song. The musical, about boxing, was
by the writers of Charlie Girl was also to feature Peter Wyngarde, the boxer Billy Walker and Lonnie Donegan! The mind boggles.
Sadly the show never materialised.
Over the years I have seen June in many concerts. One that stands out was in 1973
when June appeared at the Royal Albert Hall with Joyce Blackham, Peter Glossop and Nigel Douglas in an evening of music from
opera, operetta and the musical stage. June was in great voice that evening singing arias from The Daughter Of The Regiment
, Manon, The Gipsy Baron and Bitter Sweet. I loved seeing June in concert. I have seen her in large and small venues and she
always gave good value for money. She also, without fail, had the audience eating out of her hand within five minutes of the
start of the evening. Her informal, friendly, jokey approach was the complete opposite of most opera singers concerts. Audiences
In 1974 I was privileged to see her return to Sadlers Wells Opera in triumph as The Merry Widow. She played
one performance at the London Coliseum and then went on tour. The final performance on the tour, at Eastbourne, also marked
the end of Sadlers Wells Opera. It was to change its name to English National Opera and June made a delightful curtain speech
wishing the company good luck. At the Coliseum, June earned rave reviews from all the critics and I can still remember her
reprise of Vilia, sung so very quietly. You could hear the proverbial pin drop whilst she sang that.
Later that year
she appeared in the Puccini operetta La Rondine, where her Magda was beautifully sung. However, of her opera appearances,
I treasure most the performance I saw in Torquay in 1973 when June played Violetta in La Traviata. I took the decision to
travel down to Torquay for the day from London, on my day off from work, as I felt I might not get another chance to see her
in this opera. I am so pleased I did as to the best of my knowledge she did not perform the opera again. A memorable afternoon.
I ran back from the Princess Theatre just in time to catch the last train to London.
So many memories of June but
I think I must close now before this takes the form of an epic! I last saw her when she returned to London in the revival
of The Sound Of Music with Petula Clark in 1981. Her reception on opening night was tremendous and the papers gave her wonderful
reviews. I didnt go backstage on opening night but I did visit her later in the run with a couple of friends and we shared
a bottle of wine in her dressing room before she took us across the vast Apollo Victoria stage.
I was sad not to see
June in her later performances in Australia, but thanks to Steve Cutler I
have been able to hear all about them and I am delighted to recall my memories of June for his superb Website.
The Summer of 1982 in London.
As a young composer/conductor in London I went to see The Sound of Music
in London and was totally knocked out by June Bronhill as the Mother Abbess. I had written a musical with Dudley Stevens called
Nothing Doing Tonight and the leading role of Juno was perfect for June.
I was determined that I should at least show her the score so I contacted her London agent and explained to him what I wanted.
He called me back within about half an hour and said that I should go the next day to June's house in Chelsea and play the
score to her.
This I did and had the most wonderful day. In fact I had the most wonderful
summer because it seems that once June had taken to you life changed. June insisted that she make a demonstration tape of
my songs for the show, so I booked a studio and with myself playing the piano June sang almost the entire score - even the
songs that were not written for her character! We never did get the project off the ground and sadly when June returned to
Australia we lost touch. I have most of her recordings and still love listening to them and her death has saddened me greatly.
She taught me so much during that summer and tonight when I am conducting Manon at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, I
will be dedicating my performance to her.
Martin Yates, London.
MY TRIBUTE TO JUNE BRONHILL by Ken Caswell.
I first heard the voice of June Bronhill in about
1969. Her newly recorded Merry Widow was being played on BBC radio. There was something very natural in her singing .I was
only 13 years old but I was brought up to sing and my family were musical. Still, I really felt that here was something special.
I began to look everywhere for that voice and indeed for a face to go with it! One day I was passing a small music shop in
the Welsh Market Town of Abergavenny when in the window I saw, to my delight, the cover of the LP recording with June and
Thomas Round on the front! I had to save up my pocket money but finally managed to buy the record. In those days I could only
afford to buy an LP once a year, so you can imagine how precious that recording was. As I lived too far away from London and money
was scarce I could only follow Junes career from afar. I would read everything I could about her and hunted for her name everywhere.
I would be thrilled when she sang on the radio. The Merry Widow was broadcast on
BBC TV, whether that exists as a recording I don't know. Later in the 60's Orpheus
in the Underworld was also broadcast on television in the UK.
did not actually get to see June Bronhill until she appeared in Robert and Elizabeth and the Lyric theatre in Londons Shaftesbury
Avenue. By then I was a student at Drama School
in Kent and would travel to London
to see as many shows as I could afford. The show was very special and June and Keith Michell were terrific in it. I saw it
about four times. Once June had left the cast the show was not the same.
For a number of years I followed her career via
her many recordings most of which I have, with some notable omissions.
I was once introduced to her, at the Players Theatre
in London by her fellow Australian, the tenor ,John Aaron. John has since died.
He was the original Piangi in Phantom of the opera in London. I was overcome at
meeting her and could hardly speak!
Fortunately there was one more chance to come. A great friend of mine the conductor
Stuart Mitchell had worked with her many times and in 1974 accompanied her in her concert at Southend on Sea, Essex.
The hall was packed and June was terrific. I was then teaching drama and took one of my students .She was completely shattered
by Junes talent and could barely speak. I remember her whispering to me "thats a real star", as if I hadnt noticed!
the concert Stuart Mitchell introduced me to June. This time I was older and more confident and we had a very nice conversation.
The local Mayor was there and he tried to interrupt by asking June if she would like to eat supper at a restaurant, "No Dear
",she replied, "Lets just go to the local chippy!".
The last live performance I saw was June in the revival of The Sound
of Music. Although her voice was not what it had been there was no doubt as to her ability to command an audience with her
presence. So few singers can ever achieve that.
As I work with many different actors all over the world I often use her
as an example. I carry some of her recordings with me and we all listen to her voice. She is a superb example of immaculate
timing and tone and diction. Her ability to tell a story through the medium if song is unique.
Recently I was working in
Brazil. My production team were all Australian. One morning
I secretly brought a recording of Junes "Merry Widow" into the theatre and gave it to the sound operator. Suddenly the auditorium
was flooded with the music to the Merry Widows entrance. June had only sung two words when all the Aussies ,surprised as they
were yelled "ITS JUNE"!!!!
Many thanks to June for her talent and her wonderful example. Her voice never fails for me. Younger singers of today are always amazed at the way she sings. Recently in London the singer Grania Renihan
who was playing Fantine in Les Miserable ,said, "How I wish I had seen her" she must have been incredible !..June may have
retired but her legacy lives on .Please recording companies, especially EMI re-issue her recordings on CD so that a new generation
may have access to that incredible artistry.
My Friend June Bronhill. by Annie Marks.
I first knew June Bronhill when she was doing
'Robert & Elizabeth' at the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, which would have been around 1965. She then went
back to Australia for a while, and in the early 1970's I was in contact with her again, and spent many happy months living
in her Harriet Walk home. I think officially I was nanny to Biddy, but it was more like we were just super good friends and
we had some fabulous times together. Great parties and great fun.
In 1973 I was married. Bid was one of my bridesmaids,
and June sang at my wedding - which knocked 'em all dead, as you can imagine, and the last time I saw her was when she was
playing 'The Sound of Music' at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London.
We lost touch after that, mainly because she
was an even worse letter-writer than I was - and there was no e-mail in those days. She did write and tell me Biddy was married.
I am absolutely thrilled to find this web-site
for her, she deserves one, she is a great lady, a great, great singer and one of the best friends anyone could ever wish to
How could I ever forget her?
by Anthony Axe.
I loved reading the reminiscences
of June Bronhill on your website and would like to add a few of my own.
I was at teacher training college in Manchester
from 1962-65 and it was during that time I saw the TV transmission of the Sadler's Wells 'Orpheus in the Underworld'.
June was Eurydice and, knowing nothing about opera at that time, and, I was bowled over by the experience. Who
could ever forget her in that bubble costume being pursued by Eric Shilling's Jupiter metamorphosed
into a golden fly?
Thanks to June (and one or two of her
contemporaries) I have since had an avid interest in opera. So much so, that
for the past twelve years I have been teaching an opera appreciation course in Edinburgh, where I now live.
at college in the 60s I saw a performance of 'Robert and Elizabeth' which initially opened in Manchester before moving to
the West End in London. Incidentally, the show began life with the title, 'The Barretts and Mr. Browning,' which was
changed for the snappier title when it transferred to London. June Bronhill was superb in the part and the show awoke
in me a liking for musicals and their particular theatricality.
Sadler's Wells opera used to tour England in the 1960s
and I saw
'Orpheus in the Underworld' quite a few times but cannot remember whether June was in the cast or not.
I did see her, though, in 'La Vie Parisienne' at the Coliseum in London when she played Metella, a part eminently suited to
her voice and personality.
I never had the good fortune to meet her personally but have met several of her contemporaries
from the Sadler's Wells Opera during the period she sang with them. Sandra Dugdale is one such colleague who sang much
the same sort of repertory as June. What strikes me about that generation of singers from
Sadler's Wells is how good
they were and how unfazed by the experience of stardom. I have always found them down to earth and friendly, with nothing
of the diva about them.
Thank you for your website. It was lovely to read about June and to know that she is
now retired and, I hope, contentedly so.
Our Memories of June.
A very strange thing has just happened to us. Yesterday, the day of June's memorial concert, my wife and I were
thinking about our times with June and Richard in London during the years 1964 and 65. I suggested that we plan a trip
to Australia and try to look June up so I said I would research her on the internet. We were shocked and saddened by
the news of her passing.
We were transferred by my California based company to London in 1964. When we arrived in London we had the same
estate agent that had found the flat for June and Richard in Belgravia when they returned to London. This
estate agent, who I think was named Janie, was sub-letting from June and Richard and introduced us to them. We had a
daughter the same age as Caroline and were avid opera fans so this meeting was very exciting for us. They were
most gracious and included us in their circle of friends although we certainly were not celebrities and did not have a theater
There are too many fond memories to mention here, but we did attend her last performance of the Gypsy Baron and
were invited to the back stage party and we did see her in Robert and Elizabeth. The most fun was the time we spent
at their parties and the time we spent alone with them. I remember that she asked people to give her stuffed animals
instead of flowers and Caroline's room was filled with them. Our daughter loved to go to their home and play with
Caroline and the animals.
We were transferred to Belgium in 1965 and unfortunately lost contact with them. We regret that we did not go
to Sydney and try to make contact with her again. She was a lovely, warm person with a beautiful voice and personality
and our condolences go out to all of her family and friends.
Thanks for the memories June,
John and Rosemarie Taylor.