Newsletter of the Jussi Björling Societies of the USA & UK


La Boheme, Jussi Bjorling Society, Covent Garden


The UK JB Appreciation Society com memorated the 50th anniversary of Bjorling's last Covent Garden performances of La boheme in March of 1960 with an afternoon event at Swedenborg Hall on Saturday, September 11th. Sadly John Steane, who was scheduled to speak, was ill and could not appear. In his place I presented the "Producer's Showcase" La boheme scene with Tebaldi as well as one of the "Voice of Fires tone" videos. I was able to use the audio system of the venerable Recorded Vocal Art Society, and members of that society were also present (I am treasurer of RVAS as well as head of JBAS [UK] so could wear two hats!). It was nice to meet several founding members of JBAS again, about 25 years after we originally met up. I played many tracks from the new CD set which was enthusiastically received, and I sold dozens at the event and by post to those not able to attend. Especially well received was the 1949 Carnegie Hall "Sweden in Music" recital for sheer beauty of sound: the contrast with the quality of previous transfers of radio broadcasts was amazing. I played the Romeo duet with Sayao from San Francisco (now in much better sound than the Me t broadcast) and we enjoyed the previously unpublished 1954 Stockholm hospital recital from this magnificent set of CDs.