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.
***** JUST CONFIRMED***** We are delighted to announce that Ward Marston has confirmed that he will begin work on engineering the complete McCormack electrical recordings in April this year. He will work on this project for several months to the exclusion of all else, and the 16-CD box set, including a substantial booklet of essays compiled by Gordon Ledbetter, will be available to subscribers before next Christmas.
Please note that as our fundraising has been progressing very successfully throughout the year, and as many copies of this limited edition of 1,000 sets are now accounted for by advance orders from collectors, both from Ireland and abroad, if you wish to be sure of obtaining a set either for yourself or as a gift to someone else, you are urged not to delay in subscribing. This will also ensure that your name, or that of someone you nominate, is included in the booklet, and that you are entitled to the preferential price of €99.95 + €12 p&p, as opposed to the sale price (if any sets are still available) of €159.95 + €12 p&p following publication.
You can subscribe via the website at www.johnmccormacktenor.com, or by emailing me at email@example.com or by phoning me at 086-3601624. Thanks to all who have supported this endeavour, and I look forward to keeping you up to date with its progress in the coming months.
It is with great sadness that we have heard of the death of John, following an illness. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Sylvia, children Sarah and Dave, sister Tish and extended family. Grandson of the tenor, John was always very supportive of the project to release the complete recordings of his grandfather. His generosity in this regard contributed in no small way to the success of the Odeon Edition, and he had also done all he could to promote the ongoing efforts to ensure that the Electric Edition comes to fruition. Always friendly and approachable, he will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.
The summer has been a quiet time with fundraising for the Electric Edition taking a break. The fund now stands at about €15,000, almost a third of our target. I hope to step up our efforts between now and Christmas. It’s still too early to be specific about a launch date, but all going well Ward Marston feels it will be either late 2017 or early 2018. The special offer of reserving the 16-CD set and booklet for €99.95 (price when published, €159.95) or its equivalent in other currencies is still open to those who pre-order. This will make an ideal gift for a family member and can be done via PayPal by clicking on the Recordings menu above and selecting Electric Edition – Subscribe. Renewed thanks to all who are supporting this venture in so many ways.
I’m delighted to report that today, two months to the day after we launched the McCormack Electrics project, and thanks to your generosity, we have raised over €10,000, some 20% of our necessary funds. To date we have 70 subscribers, with new names being added each week. It has been very heartening, also, to receive subscriptions once again from so many people who made the Odeon Edition possible two years ago. As it stands, we now have subscribers in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States (including Hawaii!), Austria and Australia.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any suggestions as to likely sources of support. In particular, if you have connections with the Irish communities around the world I will be happy to send them our literature.
Today saw the launch of the fundraising drive to issue the complete John McCormack electrical recordings. Several hundred information packs have gone out by post, and the website is also live and can be used as a means of subscribing to the set.
I will post occasional updates on this page on the progress of the fund. In the meantime, my thanks to those who have already pledged their support!