13 Facts About Rodney Milnes


Rodney Milnes Blumer OBE was an English music critic, musicologist, writer, translator and broadcaster, with a particular interest in opera.

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Rodney Milnes learnt the piano as a child, to the level of playing the early Beethoven sonatas, and later recalled accompanying a fellow Oxford student in Winterreise at the Holywell Music Room.

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Rodney Milnes attended Rugby School and studied history at Christ Church, Oxford University.

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Rodney Milnes was a member of the Oxford University Opera Club, taking part in The Fair Maid of Perth in 1955, and Smetana's The Secret in 1956, which featured the debut of Janet Baker as Panna Roza, both conducted by Jack Westrup.

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Rodney Milnes sang Ko-Ko in a concert performance during his Oxford days.

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Rodney Milnes undertook National Service after Oxford, serving in the Education Corps in West Germany, and finishing with the rank of sergeant.

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Rodney Milnes was the opera critic for Harpers and Queen, opera critic of The Spectator, Evening Standard, and Chief Opera Critic The Times.

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Rodney Milnes translated opera librettos under his original name, including Rusalka, The Jacobin, Osud, Don Chischiotte, Pollicino, Undine, Giovanna d'Arco, Die drei Pintos and Tannhauser.

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Rodney Milnes contributed entries on Massenet and his operas in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

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Rodney Milnes was consultant editor for the Viking Opera Guide, and revised and updated A Concise History of Opera in 1987.

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Rodney Milnes was a contributor to Opera on Record Vol 1, Vol 2 and Vol 3.

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Rodney Milnes was a Knight of the Order of the White Rose; in January 2002 he was awarded an OBE for services to journalism and music.

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Rodney Milnes spent his final years in Gloucestershire to live near his sister.

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