In tribute: Patrick McGuigan (1933 – 2019)

It is with great sadness that we report news of the death of baritone Patrick ‘Paddy’ McGuigan, an inspirational vocal tutor and former Head of the School of Vocal Studies, on Tuesday 27 August at the age of 86.

Born in Dublin in 1933, Paddy graduated from the Royal Manchester College of Music in the early 60s, and quickly developed a prominent operatic career with companies including Sadlers Wells, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera and Kent Opera. A valued member of staff at both the RMCM and – from 1973 – the RNCM, Paddy held the position of Head of Vocal Studies between 1998 and 2000 and remained at the College until his retirement in 2009.

Stefan Janski, former Head of Opera, said in tribute: ‘I had the privilege to work alongside Paddy, a brilliant professional colleague, an entertaining raconteur, jovial, generous and always empathetic.’

Many of Paddy’s former students have gone on to develop significant careers in the industry, including RNCM President Sir John Tomlinson and baritone David Kempster.

Paying his respects, Sir John said: ‘Paddy was my first singing teacher, and it was he who over endless hours, patience and care, guided me in my first five years of vocal development. I went to him as a young singer with an unmanageable voice of limited range, and after those years of dedicated, hard work, became an opera singer. He was invigorating, inspirational, generous, and he’s a person I thought would ‘always be there’. I am just one of many who will be mourning today, who will be thankful for his life, and who will greatly miss him.’

Echoing Sir John’s thoughts, David added: ‘So many of us owe such a huge debt of gratitude to him, for his incomparable knowledge on the art of singing which he was so expertly able to impart, his professional guidance, which he always found time for, long after I’d left the RNCM, his honesty and for his unerring friendship.’

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘Our heartfelt thoughts go out to his wife Caroline and to his extended family at this time. Throughout his career, Paddy earned tremendous respect from students, staff and fellow artists, as a mentor, colleague and friend. He will be sadly missed by everyone at the RNCM, but his exceptional legacy will continue to impact our staff and students for many years to come.’

Paddy’s funeral will be held at 12.30 on Monday 9 September at St Mary and All Saints Parish Church, Great Budworth, Cheshire.


2 September 2019