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This is a second-hand card-cover book.

Condition: The cover has a light crease to the top edge around the spine area. The rest of the book has no faults.

The dimensions: 152x230mm.
Pages: 228
Publisher: Reed
Publication date: 1998 first edition


The Enigma of Sister Mary Leo
By Margaret Lovell-Smith

Of the many outstanding women who have contributed significantly to New Zealand this century, Dame Sister Mary Leo is possibly the one about whom the least is known. When she died in May 1989, an obituary summed up her life in a headline that read `The Enigma of a Famous Nun'. Behind the headline lay a question: how had a nun who had lived most of her life within convent walls also become a national icon and an internationally renowned teacher of singing?

For many Kiwis the story began in 1950, when Sister Mary Leo's pupil Mina Foley became a New Zealand phenomenon, pushing her teacher's name into the limelight. This was followed in the 1960s by her pupils winning every Mobil Song Quest, and then crossing the Tasman to scoop the Melbourne Sun Aria competition three years in a row. Two students in particular, Malvina Major and Kiri Te Kanawa, went on to become household names in their own right, opera divas known and loved throughout the world.

By the late 1950s, Sister Mary Leo's reputation as the best singing teacher in New Zealand was firmly established. Pupils flocked to learn from her, international stars such as Victoria de los Angeles and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf visited her, and honours were bestowed on her by the New Zealand Government.


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  • Seller location: Hibiscus Coast, Auckland, NZ

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