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Rosina Buckman

Last Modified: 23-6-2017 15:14

born. Blenheim 16 March 1881 Rosina sang before she talked. Her father had a fine voice and her mother sang and played the organ in church. Music was part of her life. By the time she was 16 the family had moved to Palmerston North. She was in the Broad Street Methodist Choir and also sang in concerts under the guidence of choirmaster, James Cruce.

Success as a 16 year old in taking the difficult soprano solo part in Haydn's 'Creation' decided her on a career in singing. She went to Birmingham in 1898 to study with the noted choral conductor Dr Charles Swinnerton Heap and later under George Breedon. Her acting ability convinced Breedon that opera should be her field, but Rosina resisted this, possibly because opera people had a bad reputation morally at that time. However a recital tour of N.Z. showed her that her audiences enjoyed the opera items most. Her first opera was 'A Moorish Maid' by N.Z. composer Alfred Hill. She took the La Zara part as an emergency in Wellington.. Her acting and singing won praise with the result that she was kept on for seasons in other N.Z. towns and Sydney. She worked mainly in Australia and at Covent Garden. Her Isolde (Tristan und Isolde- Wagner) was widely regarded as her best work. Her Mimi ( Madama Butterfly- Puccini ) was outstanding. HMV got her to take the part in the first recording of the complete opera. In 1922 Rosina toured N.Z. including a recital at His Majesty's Theatre in Blenheim, with her tenor husband Maurice D'Oisly. Wherever she went she was received rapturously and endured with charm long mayoral speeches and crowds of fans outside her hotel. She was a large woman and being sensitive about her looks, retired from opera in the early 30s to teach at the Royal Academy of Music. She returned to the concert hall in the late 40s. She died on 30 Dec. 1948, aged 67.

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