I have always been noisy and loud, even when I was a teeny wee thing. (My father to me:  “Could you please modulate your voice a bit?”) Once I found out that I had a pretty good singing voice and could match pitch I decided to channel this noisiness into something more pleasant, and so decided to study classical singing. I got both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance in Texas, and then was faced with a dilemma. Where did one go to become the diva that one knew in one’s heart one should be? In my day (which was a while ago) the place to go in the US was New York City, and I am pretty sure that it is still the case today. All of the major opera companies came to NYC for auditions, and if you didn’t live there it meant a lot of traveling between cities and lots of time and effort for naught. Well, at that time I didn’t like the idea of New York City (as I said, my day was a while ago!) and so was in a pickle.

This problem was solved when my best friend (also a singer) had a sister (also a singer) who lived in London and was studying at the time with a very famous and well-respected teacher. She suggested I contact this teacher and go to London, just for a while, as a stepping stone to auditioning in Germany and Austria, where there are lots and lots of little opera companies. I thought I would give it a try and so sent my audition tape to her and to my great joy was accepted as a pupil.

I didn’t realize until later that my Daddy, whose company had offices in London, hadn’t just sent my tape over in the mail, but had taken it with him on a business trip. He and his colleague thought it would be a lark to hire a car on the company’s nickel for the day, and turned up at her studio in a chauffeur-driven Daimler and handed it over. I flatter myself that it was my singing, and not the possibility that I might be quite a lucrative prospect, that actually got me into the studio. Well, either way, I went over to London to study for three months and ended up staying in England for more than 20 years.

I met my husband there, had my children there, and also did a good bit of singing there. Below you will find a photo of me singing the Jewel Song from Gounod’s Faust (familiar, no doubt, to all readers of Tintin as the favorite party piece of Madame Bianca Castafiore) while admiring my own incredible beauty! (I am the one wearing the turquoise costume, Bianca is in red.)

Below that you will see me in the title role in the opera Turandot by Puccini, a performance which was attended by HRH Prince Philip himself! (Not an opera lover, I understand, and I don’t think he became a convert after seeing me, either.)

Below that you will see me in the title role in the opera Turandot by Puccini, a performance which was attended by HRH Prince Philip himself! (Not an opera lover, I understand, and I don’t think he became a convert after seeing me, either.)

Since coming back to the US I haven’t done much singing, as I am not really living in the heart of things, but I try to keep my hand in. It is something I love to do and a huge part of who I am. And just to show that it runs in the family I also include a photo of my husband singing the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. (And, yes, he went to an all-boys prep school, and yes, he is playing the female lead.)