My Hero

Greta Bradman, soprano, with the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Boynnge
Arias, Classical, Music, Musical Theatre
Decca 481 1894
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

Adelaide audiences have been listening to Greta Bradman live for many years. With Christie Anderson and Emma Horwood she formed the enlightening and entertaining trio Eve.

She was a surefire drawcard at concerts mounted by The Firm, dedicated to promoting new works by its founders Raymond Chapman Smith and Quentin Grant and other local composers. She would tackle and make sense of any songs that could be written down, many of them having their premières. There was a splendid Pierrot Lunaire at Coriole Winery in 2011 with the Zephyr Quartet, complete with make-up and costume.

Greta Bradman

Greta Bradman

We admired her back then for her voice, her versatility, her accuracy and her courage. My hard disc stores more than a dozen Bradman files of live concerts in Adelaide. Just look at her now. And listen to her.

After a year on scholarship with Dennis O’Neill in Cardiff and under the tutelage of Richard Bonynge she has developed into a fully-fledged, vocal artist. Their influence is everywhere .

Her tone is remarkably varied, painting a rainbow of beautiful colours, arguably the most appealing in the middle register. In her opening number, ‘My Hero’ from The Chocolate Soldier, she blends into the strings – is it her voice? Is it a viola singing Edelweiss?

The repertoire is wide. A few lollipops, as above plus I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls (some pretty decorations) and When you Wish Upon a Star all the way via a delectable Cherry Ripe with Thomas Hancox fluting merrily alongside to some of the great soprano showpieces – Casta Diva, Une voce poco fa. Haydn’s Filomena abbandonata shows off a secure coloratura and a skipping descent from the heights, which she appears to reach without effort.

Bonynge nurtures her throughout, ensuring sophisticated phrasing, tasteful portamente, nowhere more tenderly than in two Handel arias from Rodelinda.

In her immediate future is a national tour with Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson and Lisa McClune, covering territory From Broadway to La Scala.

She has come far already. Going by this disc, the road is wide open.

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