Fred Blanks – successor required?

Well remembered Sydney Morning Herald music critic Fred Blanks died last year leaving an enormous cross-reference of musical events in the archives of the national library in Canberra. In 35 years his reviews for the SMH were always entertaining and informative although at times he could be a little cruel to companies such as ourselves.

He once described the tenors in the Sydney Philharmonia as “sounding like bleating sheep” and of a production of the Gipsy Baron where the pig farmer walked on stage with a live pig he wrote, “The pig showed what it thought of the proceedings”. Nevertheless, he was a great advocate for Australian musicians and composers and in 1988 was awarded an AM for services to music. He most certainly would have found our last concert interesting. We hope that the Angelic Choirs are living up to his expectations.

Is it not time we had an outside observer to review our concerts? Having members of our own organisation to do this is not all that satisfactory since obviously we are not going to be unkind to ourselves and as they say criticism is good for the soul.

Dawn Plasto

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1 Response to Fred Blanks – successor required?

  1. david moser says:

    Thanks to Google, many of Fred Blanks’ reviews can once again be read online. I stumbled across one from 1975 that started “Manic depressives now have their very own double bill: The Impresario by Mozart and Bluebird’s Castle by Bartok formed a curious alliance for the Sydney Opera Company in the University of NSW Science Theatre…” and, after some ups and downs concluded, “The Sydney Opera Company is nothing if not ambitious. Sometimes it has been nothing. This time it was ambitious.” !

    I should say that he wrote warmly of the SOC elsewhere, under their “live wire” producer, Evelyn Klopfer. A real appreciation and knowledge of classical music and performance, plus the ability to write about it entertainingly, is a rare and wonderful thing.

    By the way, there were three reviews of our last concert published on this blog – by a singer, a ‘singing member’ who was in the audience, and by a member of the audience. Personally I hope we’ll have lots more for future concerts.

    Any more ‘Blanks-isms’ any one?

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