THE AUTHOR ... who is he?

Peter Downes was born and educated in Masterton, New Zealand, and has lived most of his life in Wellington. Alongside a career in radio broadcasting, from which he has now retired, he has actively researched the history of the performing arts in New Zealand and Australia. He has written extensively on this topic, including articles, radio broadcasts and lectures.

Among his published works are:

Shadows on the Stage ... professional theatre in New Zealand from 1840 to 1910

Voices in the Air ... a history of radio in New Zealand (with Peter Harcourt)

Top of the Bill ... prominent New Zealand entertainers from the 1840s to the 1970s

Southern Voices ... biographies of New Zealand opera singers (with Adrienne Simpson)

Peter has also contributed essays to The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and Companion to Theatre in Australia. He is closely associated with the Alexander Turnbull Library's Treasures in Sound project which releases on CD historic recordings by significant New Zealand artists of the past.