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 Patricia Leonard

Patricia Leonard

Birth
Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke-on-Trent Unitary Authority, Staffordshire, England
Death 28 Jan 2010 (aged 73)
Shrewsbury, Shropshire Unitary Authority, Shropshire, England
Burial Shrewsbury, Shropshire Unitary Authority, Shropshire, England
Memorial ID 48435318 · View Source
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Opera Singer. A contralto, she was a fixture of England's D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, performing in the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Raised in Stone, Staffordshire, she studied voice and piano from an early age and later worked as a secretary to support herself in the pursuit of a music career. After meeting her future husband, bass vocalist Michael Fox (stage name, Michael Buchan), she trained with his teacher in Sheffield. At age 20 she won the "Rose Bowl" at the Blackpool Music Festival, then spent the next several years refining her art. Leonard sang with the Midland Music Makers Grand Opera Society, performed oratorio, was a soloist on the BBC, and appeared with Sadler's Wells Opera for two seasons. Accepted by audition into the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1972 (at the same time as was Buchan), Leonard became a "Savoyard", a Gilbert and Sullivan artist who has performed at the Savoy Theatre. Beginning in the chorus, she was quickly advanced to such roles as Leila in "Iolanthe" and Peep-Bo in "The Mikado". The 1974 departure of Pauline Wales opened the way for her to take on larger 'soubrette' parts such as Hebe in "H.M.S. Pinafore" (which Leonard was to sing at Windsor Castle to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee), Edith from "The Pirates of Penzance", Mad Margaret in "Ruddigore", and Lady Saphir of "Patience". Promoted to principal contralto in July, 1977, Leonard was to earn wide acclaim as Katisha ("The Mikado"), as Little Buttercup in "H.M.S. Pinafore", and as The Queen of the Fairies from "Iolanthe". After performing in the final gala when the D'Oyly Carte folded in February 1982, she and her husband embarked on a long 'second career', still singing the works for which they were known. Leonard spent seven seasons with the Phoenix Opera, Gawsworth Hall, sang with the New Sadler's Wells Opera, made a number of appearances at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton, was seen with the Carl Rosa Opera, and toured extensively, performing in America, Europe, and Australia. Leonard, known offstage as Patricia Fox, lived her final years in Clunton, Shropshire, and continued singing until her terminal illness; she died of throat cancer. She can be heard in a number of her roles on D'Oyly Carte recordings, including 'Leila', 'Elsa' ("The Grand Duke"), and 'Dame Carruthers' in "Yeomen of the Guard", as well as on some films and videos.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 21 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 48435318
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Patricia Leonard (9 Mar 1936–28 Jan 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48435318, citing Emstrey Crematorium, Shrewsbury, Shropshire Unitary Authority, Shropshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .