James Neufeld, author of Power to Rise: the Story of the National Ballet of Canada (1996) teaches English Literature at Trent University, Peterborough and writes regularly about the arts in Canada. He studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and has been a lifelong amateur singer.
Although she called herself "just a singer," soprano Lois Marshall (1925-97) became a household name across Canada during her thirty-four year career and remains one of the foremost figures in the history of Canadian music. She rubbed shoulders with Canadaâ€™s musical aristocracy â€“ Glenn Gould, Sir Ernest MacMillan, Jon Vickers, Maureen Forrester â€“ but Marshall always held first place in the hearts of her adoring fans.
At the height of the Cold War, Moscow and St. Petersburg embraced her as warmly as Canada had. Yet Marshall remained true to her Canadian roots and to Toronto, her lifelong home. This first-ever biography recounts her dazzling career and paints an intimate portrait of the woman, her childhood encounter with polio, and her complex relationship with her teacher and mentor, Weldon Kilburn. Hers is a tale of a warm, courageous woman; it is also the story of classical music in Canada.
Through his painstaking research, Neufeld skillfully penetrates beneath the surface to find an inner world that is rewarding to the reader. Neufeld makes no attempt to portray Marshall as a great intellect bursting with ground-breaking new ideas.... Yet he captures the richness of a vivid life that was uncommonly rewarding, frustrating, joyous, tragic, and much else.