The turn of the year means that we have begun the final stage of the Electrics project, and that we may now use the phrase “in time for Christmas” when asked when the box set will be available!
Much has been happening since the last update. New subscribers continue to join our number, meaning that they are entitled to the special offer pre-publication price. Ward Marston is working steadily at the engineering of the hundreds of discs – a hugely skilled, concentrated and time-consuming activity. Gordon Ledbetter and Michael Aspinall have been making progress with the essays that will grace the booklet. Our good supporters in the John McCormack Society have been spreading the word tirelessly. I have been busy adding material to the John McCormack Electric Edition Facebook page, (at https://www.facebook.com/The-John-McCormack-Electric-Edition-388659188147855/?view_public_for=388659188147855 ) and posting some of this on other Facebook sites of interest to musicians, collectors, the Irish community abroad, etc., in order to create awareness. Much of this material has been lent to me by others for scanning and return, and their generosity and trust is appreciated.
I have also begun to do one-hour lecture/recitals, which incorporate a display of memorabilia, for groups such as the ICA, Probus or Active Retirement Groups, on request. I ask for just five minutes of the hour to explain the Electrics project. So far, this has proved a fruitful source of subscriptions, and I look forward to doing more of these talks (of necessity confined to the south Munster area, for the moment) in the months ahead. A bonus of these has also been associated press and radio coverage.
I will continue to post news of the latest developments as we approach publication date. In the meantime, if anybody would like to become involved, I will be delighted to send you a bundle of leaflets for any local group you may be happy to give them to, or to collaborate on any other idea you have.
Wishing you a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2018 – go n-éirí go geal leat i rith na h-Athbliana, agus rath Dé ar do chuid oibre!
Le buíochas ó chroí,
In this short video clip, Ward Marston gives us some fascinating insights into his method of working.
Our list of subscribers to the Electric Edition continues to grow, and is now into three figures. In the coming months I will be working to spread the word via Facebook and other methods. I’m grateful for your ongoing support and encouragement!
I’m delighted to report that Gordon Ledbetter, editor and principal author in the booklet accompanying the set, will now be joined by Michael Aspinall, who will contribute an essay on McCormack’s technique and style. Mr Aspinall is internationally renowned for his expertise on the art of bel canto: not alone has he studied and written extensively on the subject for many years, but he is himself a trained opera singer and singing teacher who studied in Rome under Vincenzo D’Alessandro. D’Alessandro, in turn, had studied at the Conservatory in Pesaro with Felice Coen, the teacher of the great tenor Alessandro Bonci. He is, therefore, in direct line of descent from the great vocal teachers of the 19th century, and thus it comes as no surprise that Mr Aspinall is considered among the world’s leading authorities on bel canto. He has regularly contributed writings to such publications as The Record Collector, Opera and Music magazines, as well as to record companies such as EMI, Romophone, Nimbus and Marston. We look forward very much to his contribution to the McCormack Electric Edition.