Nationally acclaimed classical singer and ‘diva’ Elaine Kutzer Flint remembered for a life well sung

Headshot of Kasper Johansen
Kasper JohansenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Ronice Lovett, left, and Elaine Flint, right, with Australian entertainer Bert Newton.
Camera IconRonice Lovett, left, and Elaine Flint, right, with Australian entertainer Bert Newton. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Elaine Kutzer Flint, Classical Singer

Born: Harvey, August 1947

Died: Harvey, May 2021

Elaine Kutzer Flint wasn’t just a nationally acclaimed classical soprano singer, she was also a mother of three, a partner in a successful business and a self- proclaimed “diva”.

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The flamboyant and charismatic Ms Flint who “at her peak could definitely light up a room” died peacefully in her room at Hocart Lodge Aged Care on May 5.

Her funeral was held last Friday and she was buried in a casket decorated in the black and white keys of a piano and treble clefs.

Having suffered from severe asthma as a child, Ms Flint saw singing as an outlet, singing herself to sleep, at school and even during major asthma attacks.

Her sister Ronice Lovett remembered how Elaine would often use her knowledge of breath control to create breathing techniques and calm herself down during an attack.

“She actually demonstrated them to medical students at one of the hospitals, and then she was taken in with an asthma attack and they said, ‘OK then show us how you do it’,” she said.

Elaine Flint playing the priestess Leila in a 1982 performance of The Pearl Fishers.
Camera IconElaine Flint playing the priestess Leila in a 1982 performance of The Pearl Fishers. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Ms Flint lived to sing.

She studied classical singing under Molly McGurk which led her to win the 1975 ABC Vocal and Concerto Final in WA.

Later in 1978 she spent six months doing further interpretation and singing study with British pianist Paul Hamburger and baritone singer Erich Virtheer.

Her voice also led her to perform at The Sydney Opera House and at events such as Australia’s annual Carols by Candlelight. In her earlier years she performed locally at Harvey’s own Lemongrass Cafe.

Having exhausted most of WA’s performing arts opportunities and working for the likes of WA Opera, the ABC, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Opera Viva, Ms Flint sang her way to Melbourne, where she took up teaching.

Sadly, on her return to the family home in Harvey, where her brothers were living, Ms Flint developed Alzheimer’s and was admitted to the Hocart Lodge Aged Care where she spent time knitting blankets for locals.

Ronice, left, with her sister Elaine
Camera IconRonice, left, with her sister Elaine Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Ms Flint’s brother-in-law David Lovett said they would visit her weekly, bringing some of her favourite songs and pictures to jog her memory.

“We would put music on, and she wouldn’t sing but she mouthed all the words, she still knew all the words, word for word it was unbelievable,” he said.

“It was very cruel, it robbed a lot of her vitality; but she still had the spark right up until the last day.”

In the words of the late Ms Flint, “don’t be good, there’s no fun in being good”.

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