We got here a fresh (meaning recent) look on Ferrier, who was a splendid British contralto and a remarkable person. Out of this line of interviews, she comes out a a happy, very funny character who loves life, cigarettes, drinking and most probably sex. The people interviewed give their honest opinion, and I retain that Ferrier was easy to work with, funny, dependable and that she had an even keel. So how come her voice has such tragic accents? Easy, say the people interviewed, she died from cancer early, you sense that tragedy in her voice. I am not so sure this is the only reason.
I do remember a series of interviews much older, probably done over 30 years ago, when Ferrier's sister was still alive. It turns out that her father - a father she adored, was a man difficult to please: nothing she did was perfect enough, whether it was her piano playing or her singing. You do not marry this young if you are in a happy supportive family: Ferrier got married as soon as she could. It was not good for her, though, although her husband was praised for challenging her to sing in a contest, I clearly remember that he also claimed she would never make it. Here came another man who thought she was not good enough. In Ferrier's generation as in mine, you put on a happy face, you did not share what was devastating to you. The day of her last representation,just before she died, she fell and broke her hip. Her sister asked what she could do, Ferrier said: "Call an ambulance." Everybody laughed, they thought it was a joke. It is very telling that Ferrier did not insist.
In other words, I think this video lacks instinct and knowledge of the Victorians inner soul.
It is missing all that made of Ferrier an extroardinary diva, not an ordinary one!