S lip into one of the dressing rooms at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and there it remains after all these years. A giant signed photograph of the legendary Australian soprano Dame Joan Hammond as Leonora in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, during the post-war Covent Garden staging.

Joan Hammond Dame Joan Hammond in the early 1940s. Photo courtesy of  Arts Centre Melbourne, Australian Performing Arts Collection

Hammond saw that Fidelioas...

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