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Sometimes, art really does imitate life, and vice versa. Rosalyn Landor was in the midst of narrating British author Santa Montefiore's romance novel THE MERMAID GARDEN for Dreamscape when, suddenly, there Montefiore was on her television screen. "It was wonderful to see her at Westminster Abbey, on one of the most romantic occasions possible, as a guest at Prince William's wedding to Catherine Middleton. It just goes to show that there is a place in the heart for romance in today's world." (Landor also elegantly narrated Tina Brown's insider look at Princess Diana's life, THE DIANA CHRONICLES , so perhaps things have come full circle.)
Romantic fiction is a genre Landor has spent a lot of time with lately, narrating works by Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Mary Balogh, and Eloisa James. She's come to feel passionate about it and has realized that romance offers its own particular challenges for a narrator. "It requires a very specific discipline in giving voice to the male and female characters," Landor says, "especially to switch in and out of the male and female roles and play both sides of an intensely passionate scene. It's made me appreciate how well these authors understand the male/female perspective."
Named one of AudioFile's Best Voices of 2010 for her narration of A.S. Byatt's THE CHILDREN'S BOOK ("A better pairing of narrator and novel can't be imagined," raved the review), Landor says, "Recording it was an extraordinary experience, and one I shall always cherish. The vast sweep of characters and locations made it a gift in terms of narration, and a challenge, but more than that, it was an opportunity to work for a fellow countrywoman who is held in such high regard. And who, I may add, was wonderfully supportive throughout the recording process!"
Landor can appreciate an author who makes her job smoother sailing. In preparing to narrate Michelle Moran's MADAME TUSSAUD , she says, "Michelle's research made it extremely easy to portray each character, since it was evident through her writing, which was superb, where every person belonged in the social strata. Her skill as a novelist is such that essentially all I had to do was follow her direction."
But the author's careful research and attention to detail don't make her work dry. Landor also connected emotionally with the material. "I didn't know Madame Tussaud's story, and I found it incredibly moving," she says. "There were definitely moments when I had to stop recording and reach for the box of Kleenex!"--Jennifer M. Dowell (AudfioFile Magazine, June/July 2011)
For Rosalyn Landor, the audio industry is a family affair. The London-born actress grew up with her actor-broadcaster father who later became a theatrical agent and introduced Roz to many of the great British "voices" from an early age. She also started her own career at the age of 7—her acting skills evolving through both theater and dance. The "read aloud" tradition is ingrained: She grew up with it, she practices it with her own daughters, and now her professional career centers on audiobooks. Roz notes that a "circle of life" completes itself with her current audiobook work—reconnecting with actors like Sean Barrett and Stephen Thorne and working with Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres in an L.A. Theatre Works production, PACK OF LIES . Roz loves the opportunity to read all genres of work. "I can be anyone," she says, "from the 95-year-old dowager to a 21-year-old frivolous spirit." In titles like the mystery GHOSTWALK; a thriller, SECRET ASSET; and Tina Brown's high-profile biography, THE DIANA CHRONICLES, Roz's passion for storytelling is evident and appreciated.
Photo © Arielle Rudman
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