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March 27, 2015 at 9:13 am
At the suggestion of a friend, Isabel Veale joined 3MBS as a broadcaster in 2004, to stay connected to the music world as she was winding down her operatic career. She anticipated contributing to the cataloguing team, perhaps, but was persuaded to train as a programmer and presenter. It was, in a way, coming full circle. One of her first jobs, at the age of 19, had been at the ABC, where she was an on air announcer for a year or two.
"When I left school, music was everything to me," she says. '"I had begun taking singing lessons at school with Marjorie Douglas and my main aim was to continue voice training, which I did with Bettine McCaughan. I worked in the ABC Music Department for a couple of years, then moved to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's music library continuing to take singing lessons in my lunch hour. It was a great way of learning more about instrumental and orchestral music. One of my jobs was to set out the orchestral parts each morning. A huge bonus was that I was able to hear and see many great artists. A highlight was hearing Dame Janet Baker rehearsing 'Sea Pictures.' on her Australian tour in 1967."
At 25, Isabel joined the Australian Opera, and after two years left for London and continued her studies there, going on to a professional career singing with the English National Opera and with San Diego Opera in the USA. When the Sydney Opera House opened, she was invited back to the Australian Opera as a principal Mezzo-soprano.
Isabel and husband Bill are keen audience members at a variety of performing arts events - concerts, opera and theatre.