Peter and Joan on the same sheet

Peter and Joan on the same sheet


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2011

The Times, very late with its obituary of Peter Andry, makes amends by giving the lower half of the page to chronicling a list of dignitaries who attended yesterday’s Westminster Abbey thanksgiving for the life of Joan Sutherland

Both of them would have liked that.

Peter used to joke that all the Aussies in London – from Peter Porter and Rolf Harris to Germaine Greer and Barry Humphries – must have come over on the same boat. And Joan could pick out an Aussie accent in a football crowd. Neither kookaburra fell far from its old gum tree.
The Andry obit is deadly dry and respectful to everyone in the record industry. I rather suspect it must have been written by the late Alan Blyth, a critic of majestic courtesy. The twinkle in the man’s eye is nowhere to be seen.
Elsewhere in The Times, behind an online firewall, you can read a rare interview with Thomas Ades who manages to sound more than reasonably miserable about being alive, a composer, in New York and gay. Some day he may lighten up but at the moment he’s Ben Britten in his Aldeburgh scowl.