B1261. MARJORIE LAWRENCE. Interrupted Melody [Autobiography]. Sydney, Invincible Press, 1949. 261pp. Photos.
“The early life and establishment of Lawrence’s career as an opera singer, followed by marriage, polio and partial paralysis, and her return to the stage. Filmed a few years later.
Marjorie Lawrence's career unfortunately lasted only about a decade. She started at the top and stayed there. Born 17 February, 1909 near Melborne, Australia, she responded quickly to her initial training, winning all possible prizes. After this she studied in Paris making her début in 1932 in Monte Carlo as Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER (with Georges Thill). In 1933 she made a sensational début at the Paris Opéra- Comique as Ortrud in LOHENGRIN, later that season singing Brünnhilde, Salomé in Massenet's HÉRODIADE, Rachel in LA JUIVE, Aïda, and in the world première of Canteloube's long-forgotten VERCINGETORIX. The following year she added Donna Anna, Strauss' Salome and Reyer's Sigurd to her repertory. In 1934 she made her Met début as Brünnhilde in DIE WALKÜRE (with Lauritz Melchior, Friedrich Schorr, Emanuel List and Elisabeth Rethberg) to great acclaim, and in 1938 the Met mounted a new production of SALOME for her.
Her career took a tragic turn when it was found she had infantile paralysis. She defied the disease and was able to return to singing as her voice was not affected. In 1942, in a special Met production in which she could be seated throughout the performance, she sang Venus in TANNHÄUSER with Melchior, and later Isolde at the Met as well as in Montréal and Amneris at the Paris Opéra, while seated. Highly patriotic, she gave many performances for the military, a magnificent example of courage and generosity. She died 10 January, 1979 in Little Rock, Arkansas.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron