Dame Joan Hilda Hood Hammond, DBE, CMG (24 May 1912 – 26 November 1996) was a New Zealand born Australian operatic soprano, singing coach and champion golfer.
She toured widely, and became noted particularly for her Puccini roles, and appeared in the major opera houses of the world – the Royal Opera House, La Scala, the Vienna State Opera and the Bolshoi. Her fame in Britain came not just from her stage appearances but from her recordings.
She returned to Australia for concert tours in 1946, 1949 and 1953, and starred in the second Elizabethan Theatre Trust opera season in 1957. She undertook world concert tours between 1946 and 1961.
She became patron and a life member of the Victorian Opera Company (since 1976, the Victorian State Opera – VSO), and was the VSO's artistic director from 1971 until 1976 and remained on the board until 1985.
She joined the Victorian Council of the Arts, was a member of the Australia Council for the Arts opera advisory panel, and an Honorary Life Member of Opera Australia. She was important to the success of both the VSO and Opera Australia.
After her performance career, Hammond embarked on a second career as a voice teacher and was the head of the voice faculty at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1975 to 1992. In that time she trained an extraordinary number of Australian singers who had successful careers in Australia and on the international stage.
The National Library's PROMPT collection documents the Australian and overseas performing career of Dame Joan Hammond, as well as her career as a recording artist.
The Dame Joan Hilda Hood Hammond PROMPT files may be accessed through the Library’s Petherick Reading Room by eCallslip request: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3528398