A highly absorbing and intelligently produced musical, the saga of an opera warbler whose career reaches a tragic end. Evelyn Laye is the singing lead of Evensong. By stages she skilfully portrays the professionally successful but tragic life of a prima donna from her ‘teens to the day when inevitably she must learn that her voice is burning out.
The music [composed by Mischa Spoliansky, lyrics by Edward Knoblock] ranges from popular numbers appropriately spotted, as for instance in the soldiers’ canteen scene, to heavier opera. La Traviata and La Boheme numbers figure mostly, together with lighter compositions especially written for the play and picture.
Fritz Kortner tops the support as the diva’s manager and romance slaughterer, while Carl Esmond plays moderately well. His accent is foreign rather than English, as with most of the company. Emlyn Williams, first love of the prima donna, dies in the war without having impressed deeply.