Victor Fleming was conductor of the British Concert Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra and co-founder of the Welsh Opera Company. In 1958 he received the Freedom of the City of London. In 1948 Victor and his wife Molly made their home at “Honeythorne” on Ventnor Esplanade.
The house is now gone, but this picture from On the Wight shows the house as it was, with the garden wall facing the street decorated with a design of music notes.
He was a member of Ventnor Town Council and became Mayor in 1979/1980. He retired in 1984 and donated his entire collection of music and orchestral scores to Ventnor Library. This donation formed the nucleus of the music library. It is housed in the upstairs rooms of the library, once home to the Island’s “stack” of out-of-print fiction.
Over the years, with donations from societies, music teachers and individuals, the collection of some 30000 pieces was collated and catalogued by Ian Snow (the then Librarian) assisted by Sylvia Bartram. It was their hard work which gave the Island its first and only collection of music ranging from works of the classical composers, the Broadway musicals to the well loved songs of music hall. In fact the Island is the only location in the UK for some of the scores held in Ventnor Music Library and are still being loaned to libraries on the mainland. Long may it be so.
Contributed by Valerie Bridgeman 2012
The lending Library also now has a collection of Opera DVDs. Here is just a selection:
- Berg – Lulu ((Stage director Christof Loy)
- Britten – Peter Grimes ( Stage director Tim Albery)
- Mozart La Clemenza Di Tito (Stage director Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann)
- Mozart – Le Nozze Di Figaro (stage director Jonathan Miller)
- Mozart – Don Giovanni
- Puccini – La Boheme ( The Metropolitan Opera)
- Puccini – Turandot (Stage director David Pountney)
- Strauss – Salome (Stage director Nikolaus Lehnhoff)
- Wagner – Parsifal (Stage director Wolfgang Wagner)
- Wagner – Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg (Stage director David McVicar)
- Wagner – Tristan Und Isolde (Stage director Alfred Kirchner)