'There's Tawny and There's Golden Saffron, There's Flaxon and There's Blonde' - Retired Opera Australia's Wig Mistress, Shirley Germain
Summary: Shirley Germain was Opera Australia's wig-mistress for 38 years. Her husband, John Germain, was a revered singer with the Company for 40 years, performing many of the great Baritone roles. Commencing her career as a hairdresser, she found that the Opera Company was looking for someone to oversee the preparation and maintenance of the many wigs required in production. It was the second year of its existence. Already associated with the Company, through her husband, the role seemed a perfect fit. The young company made do in various venues around Sydney until 1973 when Opera Australia made the Sydney Opera House its new home. Shirley has been in the unique position of having had a 'front-row seat', observing the company grow and triumph over several decades. She has worked with the greats of the Opera World, and counted many of them as her close friends. Shirley has contributed enormously in her preparation, styling and care of the 'heads' of the characters in Opera. This unique artistry is of paramount importance to the success of a production, contributing to the aesthetics and allowing a singer to take the stage with confidence and character. It is a role Shirley has relished and we are indeed privileged to have access to her experience and anecdote in this delightful episode of Stages. The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa and where all good podcasts are found.