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Pauline Marshall

Pauline's first experience of Gilbert and Sullivan came in her school and university years: having performed the title role in Patience in a sixth-form production she joined the University of Newcastle G&S Society and played Giannetta, Elsie Maynard, Patience (again) and Princess Ida during her 4 fears in Newcastle, acting as singer/director for The Yeomen of the Guard and Patience.

During her vacations she sang with the York Youth Operatic and Choral Society, for whom she played Yum-Yum and Phyllis, and, on returning to live in York, Casilda and Rose Maybud. Other G&S roles have included Mabel and The Plaintiff, but she regrets never having had the opportunity to play Aline in The Sorcerer, although she enjoyed directing her daughter in that role with York Opera in 2001!

She was a member of the group that formed York Opera in 1966 and has played many exciting soprano roles with them, notable Turandot, Lady Billows and Ellen Orford, alongside a career as a professional soprano in oratorios and recitals. She has been a teacher of singing in this area for over 40 years, 20 of those in the Department of Music at the University of Hull.

In more recent years she has been tempted back to directing her beloved G&S operas. For York Opera she has directed Ruddigore (twice), Princess Ida, Trial by Jury, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, The Sorcerer, The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Gondoliers and The Yeomen of the Guard.

She believes firmly that, with the occasional substitution of topical material, Gilbert's words and Sullivan's music are as attractive and funny to all ages as they ever were, and tries to ensure that the operas are presented in a way that would please both composer and librettist - and which they would recognise!

Last updated June 2012

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