John Stratton

John (Reginald) Stratton. Record historian and producer, baritone, b Toronto 1 Aug 1931; BA (Trinity College, Toronto) 1954, MA (Toronto) 1958, PH D philosophy (Toronto) 1969.

Stratton, John

John (Reginald) Stratton. Record historian and producer, baritone, b Toronto 1 Aug 1931; BA (Trinity College, Toronto) 1954, MA (Toronto) 1958, PH D philosophy (Toronto) 1969. A specialist in the history and recordings of dramatic singing, Stratton has contributed articles to the Record Collector on Florence Easton and Dmitri Smirnoff, and part of his research appeared (April-July 1966) in the Journal of the British Institute of Recorded Sound as 'Operatic singing style and the gramophone'. For these journals he has written several pieces on the Mapleson Cylinders (the earliest recordings taken during live performances in the theatre). In 1968 he gave the opening lectures ('Crisis in the art of singing') at the new quarters of the British Institute of Recorded Sound. He is also a contributor to EMC. Through his own record label, Cantilena, founded in 1966 in Toronto and distributed by Rococo Records, Stratton had released by 1982 some 46 LPs of rare 78s by singers of the past, including Florence Easton and Edward Johnson. Stratton himself studied voice in the 1950s: in Toronto with Gina Cigna and Aksel Schiøtz, and in New York with Easton and Herbert Janssen. He has recorded for Cantilena three recital LPs (1967-74) of songs, opera excerpts, and sacred works. In 1986 he received a Grammy nomination for his work on the Mapleson Cylinder Project, published by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives, Lincoln Center. His article 'Some matters of pitch,' on the subject of the effect on singers of changes in conventions about musical pitch, appeared in Opera Quarterly (vol 6, Summer 1989). By profession a teacher of philosophy, Stratton joined the faculty at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (Toronto) in 1971 and continued to teach there in 1991.