Yvonne Rodd-Marling



Tel. 091/2 91 75

Feb. 14th 1965


Dear Mr Murdock

Prof. Husler has asked me to answer your letter as his English is not very good when it comes to writing letters. Many thanks for your enquiry; Annon Lee Silver had already mentioned your name and said you might be writing.


As a rule we do not take singers without hearing them first (sometimes one feels one cannot help them enough to justify a long journey and the expense involved) but Annon Lee told us quite a bit about your voice and it all sounds very promising.


The autumn term starts Sept. 20th and lasts until Dec.10th. The fees amount to 50 Swiss francs a week. We train the voice four days a week and have a kind of workshop every Wednesday when pieces are sung.


Accommodation is rather hard to find, as Cureglia is a very small village, but so far we have been lucky with our singers and I shall keep a look out for something suitable. Perhaps you could let me know later on what you can pay for rooms and what you need.


Cureglia lies five kilometers out of Lugano; there is a bus service of sorts into town and people often drive in to shop. The village itself is primitive but most attractive and the countryside is lovely. The climate is pretty mild on the whole with a few sharp spells in winter; the summer can be very hot indeed. The language is Italian though most people speak German and French. In the villages they talk a picturesque and quite incomprehensible dialect, which the true Italians simply hate. Music is difficult to buy in Lugano and very expensive. We hire occasionally from the broadcasting station if we happen to be doing any choral works.


I don't think there is much else I can tell you. It would be kind if you will confirm your arrival as we have to be very restricted in numbers.

Very best wishes and congratulations for your wedding, and kind regards from Prof. Husler.

Yours sincerely,


(signed) Yvonne Rodd-Marling


P.S. Prof. Husler suggests that you might like to order our book which has just been published in London by Faber and Faber Ltd, 24 Russell Square, London, W. C. I   “Singing. The Physical Nature of the Vocal Organ" A guide to unlocking of the singing voice.

It is illustrated and has a record attached.This is not, of course, obligatory! but it could be quite a help to you. 


Scuola di canto: Prof. F. Husler - Y. Rodd-Marling

Patronato: Herbert von Karajan - Dr. Otto Klemperer - Sir Malcolm Sargent - William Glock (BBC) 


Eulogy given by the Reverend Gervase Murphy, M.A. at the funeral of Yvonne Rodd-Marling in London, September 14, 1982. She was born December 6, 1912 and died September 6, 1982

"The lady's hat for Ascot was just not right. It lacked that necessary touch of original sparkle. She stood looking at it - moving it round; taking it off, putting it on; discarding it; trying something else. Patience was running out. People were beginning to move outside. And still the lady and the hat were not happy together. . . .


Fortunately, Yvonne was near at hand. In a second or so with her deft touch of brilliance, a movement of scissors and silk ribbon here; a stitch there, and a move of this and that to somewhere else, and the whole creation of that particular lady's head-dress was re-created.


Such was the personality of Yvonne . . . enchanting, elegant

with an abundance of style and dash. Not actually beautiful,

someone has suggested, but completely fascinating, with tremendous élan and animation, a sense of fun and humor,

and a lively interest in everyone and everything.


The day before she died she wrote to one of her friends who was ill. The light touch of her pen filled the pages with words of love and encouragement. All of us here today have known Yvonne and in varying ways have experienced that love and encouragement. She was such a gifted and giving person. . . as warm and graceful to someone of humble standing as to a Prime Minister or Field Marshall and several others such as leaders of Nations who benefited from her expertise and joie de vive.


Undoubtedly in the world of music she was enabled to make her own unique and greatest conquests and find her firmest and innumerable friends. She was quick to see in the youngest aspiring student the potentialities of a distinguished musician and artist of the future.


Her capacity for work and getting things done made her singing teaching capabilities recognized the world over.

Here, today, with all her friends and members of her family, the spirit and ingenuity of Professor Frederick Husler is not far from us.


Born in London, she came of a family of good brains and high intelligence. Her father was a diplomat. Persia, Denmark and Holland. From birth therefore she was invested with advantages and from the beginning she had the sense to use these advantages.


These gifts, combined with her wonderfully quick intuitive sympathy enabled her to create this personal world of music and friends . . . and in the midst of her business she was conscious that her pilgrimage in this world would not last for ever.


On one occasion she wrote to a friend whom she thought was near to death: 'And when we go we shall have so many loved ones to meet us."


Death, to her, and to us, cannot be the end. Rather the opening of a door to greater opportunities, responsibilities and privileges.


Thanks be to God who gives us victory over death. Thanks be to God for the sweet fragrance of Yvonne and a life well lived."

Extract from a letter to Ron Murdock dated April 7, 1973: 


Anchoring the Larynx: I said not to worry because one cannot work on the instrument just when one is singing for a broadcast.

Anyway what does "anchoring" mean? It is not a static condition; it does not mean that the larynx is always drawn down to the maximum.


The larynx has to be able to move like everything else in the instrument of singing. Your anchoring muscles are not yet quite developed enough to coordinate always and in every sort of circumstance with the rest.


The throat can be opened up still more and that is done by training which can continue all one's life! So there is nothing to worry about.


You must not be too analytical, too cerebral, or you will lose your singing instinct! You will get in your own way! Do practice your chest voice to get it going more easily. That muscle is not free enough yet (the difficulty very often in tenor voices). When it is freer you will get the top more easily.


Much love to you and toi toi toi for all your plans.


(Signed) Yvonne