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Richard Meale interviewed by Robyn Holmes [sound recording]
Bib ID 4595389
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Meale, Richard, 1932-2009, Interviewee
Online Access
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2009 
3 sound files (ca. 250 min.) 
Technical Details

Mode of access: Online. 


Richard Meale discusses the opera 'Voss' in the context of his body of work; the challenges of writing an opera; working from David Malouf's libretto; the process of opera composition; the response from audiences and critics; his reasons for choosing composition over instrumental performance as a career; his attachment to Australia and Australian culture; the establishment of his reputation as an innovative composer during the 1950s and 1960s; Winifred Burston; the influence of other composers on his music; his works premiering while studying at the NSW Conservatorium and his music introduced to the public whilst working at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC); working as a Balance Officer and Programming Officer for the ABC Music Department; accumulating a wide knowledge of orchestral and classical music; Jim Sharman; his ability to immerse himself in and absorb others' musical works; studying ethnomusicology at the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, how this study has influenced his composition; the relationship of music to other disciplines; the beginnings of his self-education and curiosity; his parents background; the notion of learning and teaching methods; his teaching position at the University of Adelaide; the influence and inspiration of Gertrude Stein and other writers; travelling in Spain, writing ‘Homage to Garcia Lorca’; leaving the University of Adelaide and the teaching profession (1988); challenges faced upon moving to Mullumbimby, NSW; composing for particular performers and his reasons for not writing for commissions.

Meale discusses his development as a composer; the exposure of his works through performances in the 1960s; becoming a professional composer; his contributions to the development of infrastructure for performance of Australian music; his involvement with the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and the building of the Adelaide Festival Centre; performance of the Garden Scene of 'Voss' at the 1982 Adelaide Festival, and full staging of the opera at the 1986 festival; Patrick White's opinion of his 'Voss' and White's libretto of 'Births, Deaths and Lotteries'; Sidney Nolan; the creation of a suite from 'Voss'; the notion of 'Voss' as the iconic Australian musical work; the creation of the opera 'Mer de Glace', its positive reception and its future; 'Voss’ reputation as an important collaboration between iconic Australians, and its reception internationally; his first contract with an international publisher and subsequent international publishing deals; the difficulties for Australian composers in acquiring international exposure; his role as a member of the board of the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA); visiting Poland; writing the abandoned 'Piano Concerto' for Roger Woodward; unfinished works and incorporating unused works into others; his hopes for the future and the revisiting of works.


Recorded on March 25-27, 2009 in Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (10 p.) and corrected transcript (typescript, 166 leaves) 
Subjects Meale, Richard, 1932-2009 -- Interviews.  |  White, Patrick, 1912-1990. Voss.  |  Composers -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Composition (Music)
Occupation Composers.
Other authors/contributors Holmes, Robyn, 1953-, Interviewer

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Details Collect From
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 6066 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 6066 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Special Collections Reading Room

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