Joan Carden, Geoffrey Chard, Robert Gard

Joan Carden AO OBE, Geoffrey Chard AM and Robert Gard OBE are three of Australia’s best known and most successful opera singers, all of whom have retired from the professional stage after long and remarkably varied careers. In many ways their lives parallel the demanding and unpredictable story of opera in Australia. Having for many years been professional colleagues and good friends, all three still take an active interest in the opera business. Their conversation is both instructive and hilarious.

Audio Extracts

Joan Carden


Implications of singing many roles at The Australian Opera: overseas singers tend to sing fewer roles


She feels her life and personality has been dominated by being a singer


Identification with onstage character: preparing for going on stage to sing

Geoffrey Chard


Recording by Geoffrey Chard and his late wife Marjorie Conley of the folk song I will give you the Keys of Heaven from a 1959 broadcast


The challenges for being a stage performer


Experience of singing Richard Meale’s opera Voss


Death of his wife Marjorie Conley

Robert Gard


Preparing and singing his most important role: Aschenbach in Britten’s Death in Venice


Story of terrible 1964 production of Carmen at the Adelaide Festival


Tamino’s aria from the Magic Flute by Mozart

Joan Carden, Geoffrey Chard and Robert Gard


Country touring stories of the early days of opera in the 1950s and 1960s