Marjorie Hird’s singing was always notable for ease of delivery and wholesome charm. Her Bulawayo lunch-hour recital yesterday for the Rhodesian Academy of Music showed that in the two years since her last such appearance, she had made big strides in voice control.
Her voice was never smoother, and even at the end of the longest phrases she left the feeling that she still had breath to spare.
Stylistically, she is as conscientious as ever, permitting herself in the operatic arias, for example, a fullness of tone and nicely judged portamenti that she had guarded against in the early Italian songs.
Her own high standards, however, create their own demands. I remained with an impression that in concentrating on smooth production, she is in danger of overlooking the necessity to inflect the fine sounds she makes so that they also make their points dramatically.
Too much should not be made of this. She is a very pleasing singer who could give her work an added dimension by pondering more deeply on the musical and literary implications of what she is singing.
Janny Visser took over the accompaniment at short notice and did very well in the circumstances.