Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Real Janette Miller Wikipedia style


Kia ora Alice! 

This blog is written for you so that one day in the future you will know where you come from  and for my friends who think they know me but might get one or two surprises. This is a warts and all blog because that is the most  interesting type. Controversy makes for good reading. So with the introduction out of the way let us proceed.


Obviously I have to get the boring bits out of the way first - so here goes. This is the Wikipedia style information page. I don't have one of those as I can hardly write one for myself  and I am not famous so this will have to surfice. At least I know the information is correct and can be referenced officially but that is up to you.

Janette Mary Miller was born in 1943 in Windsor, Royal Berkshire England. Her parents were Major James Charles Hugh Miller and Anges Thorpe. Her birth was registered in the same Registry Office  in Windsor High Street that hosted the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Because her father was in North Africa fighting Rommel in the Second World War Janette Miller lived with her maternal grandparents  Henry & Mary Anne Thorpe at Thamesway, Bath Road Taplow for four years until his return late in 1946. Henry Thorpe was the Chief Accountant at Wembley Stadium 1923 to 1950.

The family then moved to a semi detached in Stanmore where they lived unitl 1965 when they moved to Pinner.

Janette Miller attended four schools, St Thomases in Stanmore, Rosary Priory, in Bushey Heath, Arts Educational Schools, London and Aida Foster, Golders Green.

She then attended The Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she won The Production Prize judged by the BBC. This is one of the three major prizes.

Her professional life began at the age of 13 as the voice of  Patsy, Huntley & Palmers biscuits TV ads for Helas & Batchelor.

Her stage debut was on 27 March 1957  in the Royal Gala Performance of Petrushka with Margot Fonteyn at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She and Patricia Roots were the first children Ninette de Valvois allowed in the company.

In 1958 Benjamin Britten chose her for the role of Mrs. Sem in the first performance of Noyes Fludde  in Aldeburgh, Southwark Cathedral and Lowestoft. She sung Cosima's Birthday Lied in the final night Wagner Concert at Aldeburgh accompanied by Benjamin Britten at the piano.

In 1959 Britten chose her to play Flora in the famous Associated Rediffusion televison production of his opera The Turn of the Screw directed by Peter Morley. She repeated this role at the Aldeburgh Festival and at Rosehill

Then started a long series of Musical Theatre in London and on tour around England's major cities for ten years,

Her London West End debut was in The House of Cards at the Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road produced by The Players Theatre. Vida Hope directing.
National Tours of Stop the World I want to Get Off, Lilie, Lilac Time, Kathie The Student Prince, Major Pantomimes as Principal Girl, at Windsor, Nottingham and Croyden. International tour Noel Tovey Polly in The Boyfriend and as
Cabaret  Artist on the  liner Aurelia  around the Mediterranean.
London Peter Meyers intimate  8 handed revue In the Picture at The Mayfair Theatre, Susan in The Desert Song, Palace Theatre London.
BBC Drama A Piece of Resistance,  Hammer Films Phantom of the Opera. Ken Russell Women in Love. Interpol Calling Pinewood.


Janette Miller married Dr. Miles Richard Castelhow Heffernan at Uxbridge Registry Office on 5 April 1972. After living in Shepherds Bush for  three years they emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand where Miles was a General Practitioner. In 1976 they had a daughter Chlöe. Dr. Heffernan was brutally assaulted in his surgery in 1980.  After this he assisted his wife to run the Auckland Opera and Ballet Workshop, that became The Auckland City Opera and Ballet Company at the Concert Chamber of Auckland's Town Hall. Janette Miller ran this company without any official grants for 14 years. It never lost money.

Miller directed most of the major operatic repertoire in an original and avant garde style which was not appreciated by the local audience who found the multi media approach unsettling. Now this style is commonplace today but then it was considered challenging. Her first production was Schonberg's  Erwartung followed by Bartok's Bluebirds Castle. Miller had a major success with her innovative children's narrated ballets. The Tales of Beatrix Potter filling the 2400 seater Town Hall twice daily. These holiday programmes were so popular that Miller won The NZTV Marketing Award and was voted Auckland Woman of the Year 1981 (ref NZ Herald) for her sole effort to stop the Concert Chamber of The Auckland Town Hall being turned into a bar.

These Ballets were turned into the TV Series Dance Tales Story Ballets which received international success. The series finished as a finalist in the LA Monitor Awards for technical excellence and were shown on the BBC.

In 1990 her opera career came to an abrupt end with her original, highly successful production of Die Fledermaus in Wellington. Not only was this an artistic success but a financial success that pulled the Wellington City  Opera Company not only out of debit but into credit.

In Auckland this production too, as the now National Opera Company of New Zealand admitted, was a 'triumph'. Miller's production was the first NZ production to be played in the new Aotea Centre and played to capacity houses. It made such a profit that the then Metropolitan Opera Company was given the national grant. Miller was also the first woman NZ opera director to be given a National major opera production.

Janette Miller was not allowed to enjoy her success  of her work as she was dismissed with no reasons given very publicly after fully rehearsing the production a few days before the opening night. Her name was taken off the credits and a male director Bobby Alderton took the total honors. It took five years of litigation before the Opera Company settled for the cruel conspiracy and paid up but Miller's reputation was fatally damaged.

In 1990 Miller retired from Opera Production and turned to coaching Rhythmic gymnastics where she became a judge. Miller also edited the magazine The NZ Sports Woman. Miller was the Ballet Coach for The NZ Rhythmic Gymnastic Team for the 1990 Commonwealth Games where Angela Walker won a Gold Medal for Rope.

In 2002 Miles Heffernan died. Soon after  Miller contracted  the parasite Giardi but was mistakenly treated for depression with Benzodiazepine Lorazepam and eventually a tricylic Doxipin.  These combined with the antibiotic Vancomycin which was eventually administered as she had contracted Clostridium Difficile from antibiotic overuse gave her Chronic Benzodiazepan Withdrawal Syndrome and a compromised nervous system. In 2002 the slow withdrawal method was not practiced in NZ and Miller had to suffer a cold turkey horrific withdrawal alone. She was treat as a hardened drug addict without any cause and left to suffer.

This gave her the opportunity to study IT and enter the wold of computers at which she has become proficient. She started making simple TV documentaries on DVD and had a major success with 'Bookbinding with Peter Goodwin' Series which is still a constant  seller on Amazon.com .

In 2008 Miller who does not play an instrument discovered she could hand write her accompaniments in the Midi Application Garageband. Thus started her Lieder CD's in English  of The Songs of the Auvergne and The Beautiful Miller's Maid by Schubert. Miller has her own Channels on YouTube  one for the Arts and anonymous channel for science and religion. Miller is non believer and left wing. She was the youngest British Equity Rep and had some telling run ins with  London  and NZ Managements and discrimination against women.

Miller lives in Auckland and after ten years has almost recovered her health. Her other interests are philately, ice skating, gardening, croquet and fine art.

Phew! Rather long That's the boring bit over but at least you have some idea of the chronology. Now  as Lady Bracknell once remarked to minor matters!















No comments:

Post a comment