I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP, YOU KNOW"": The Autobiography of the Queen of Musical Parody by Anna Russell

I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP, YOU KNOW"": The Autobiography of the Queen of Musical Parody

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With the irrepressible zaniness that has delighted her fans for over 40 years, Russell (dubbed ""the world's funniest woman"" by the London Times) here births an autobiography with as much cheek as her tongue can muster. This ""Queen of Musical Parody"" clearly relishes tracing her eccentric, sometimes aristocratic, occasionally ""batty"" British, Canadian and Australian family, her austere English childhood, as well as her unique career as one of the world's few operatic comediennes. Russell discovered early on that performing made her feel alive and accepted. Despite numerous doubters, she managed to parlay her unsuccessful classical training at London's Royal College of Music (they thought her musically hopeless), her quasi-operatic voice (to her instructors' horror, her true ambition was grand opera), her outrageous sense of humor, and talent for writing and performing saucy parody, into a successful career. In radio, TV, film and stage appearances, she has regaled successive generations with her delicious blend of music and comedy, and her self-written repertoire of spoofs on music's sacred cows: a lecture on the plot of Wagner's Ring; a rendition of the ""forgotten"" Verdi opera ""Hamletto""; arias such as ""I wish I were a Dicky Bird,"" an explanation on bagpipe playing. Besides appearances in productions such as Gigi and Blithe Spirit, she's played a witch in Hansel and Gretel and even a clown in an Australian circus. She has played to women's clubs and royalty, counts among her fans the elite of the serious concert stage, and has humbled all cynics. Her ""rootless"" life has encouraged the buying and selling, on whim, of homes in England, Canada, New York, Australia and California, and caused her to shed two husbands. But having finally settled in Toronto with a garden where she can grow vegetables, she rejoices in the success of her 1984 ""farewell tour"" and is enjoying life. Her autobiography shows it--a crusty slice of her repertoire, a Russellian succession of irreverent anecdotes about the cast of outrageous personalities, dotty relatives, and triumphs that have filled her life. This is a lighthearted, cheeky romp, a command performance for her fans. Enjoy, Duckie!

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1985
Publisher: Continuum