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Melanie Eskenazi

‘If it’s Tuesday, it must be a tenor………..’ Melanie Eskenazi attempts to divide her time more or less equally between interviewing singers and instrumentalists, writing reviews of concerts and operas, her part time academic job (teaching English Literature), looking after her two sons and daughter, the odd half hour spent in her much – too - large garden and extremely suburban mock Tudor house, and the occasional minute or two to catch up with her American TV Editor husband, who came over to London on a visit 22 years ago and now declares himself ‘stuck.’

Melanie was born in London but brought up in the Touraine region of France, where she lived on a wine estate, which partly accounts for the occasionally grape-related images she uses in her music writing; so far, ‘the one which got up most people’s noses’ was her likening the voice of a certain English tenor to ‘a fine late – growth Puligny Montrachet in its honey – and – toast with a steely edge.’

She attended universities in Wales, Hull and Oxford, reading English Literature, gaining an M.A. and then spending three years on a D.Phil. on the Romantic poet John Clare and the German lyric poet Wilhelm Müller, the poet of ‘Winterreise’ and ‘Die Schöne Müllerin.’ She married a fellow academic first time around, spent a long period living in rural Northumberland, moved back to London, got divorced, changed job and remarried, acquiring a 5 year old stepson and a baby son of her own, to be followed by her ‘definitely last’ baby who is now 4.

Melanie has always been a writer of some kind or other; she used to be an Inspector for the ‘Good Food Guide,’ and wrote a large part of the North East / Scotland / Lake District and some London sections of that publication from 1981 – 1989. She has written several scholarly articles, mostly on John Clare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Byron, and her current ‘works in progress’ (i.e. half finished pieces) are –

‘Not a Voice, but a Disease’ (Strauss) What do we mean when we say ‘He is a Tenor?’



‘A Woman’s Face, With Nature’s Own Hand Painted: the androgynous Nature of Love in ‘Twelfth Night’ and the Sonnets.’








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