‘And, all the while, I was losing my voice’

‘And, all the while, I was losing my voice’


norman lebrecht

June 05, 2015

It was after six weeks of learning Madame Butterfly for Opera Holland Park that I knew I no longer had it in me. Singing, and everything associated with it, made me sad. So sad. Nights crying to my ever-supportive boyfriend knowing I just had to make that decision and pull the plug. So I did, and now I don’t sing anymore.



Katie McAdam, a rising soprano on the UK opera circuit, found herself grappling with vocal health issues in the way that many singers do. Only hers would not go away. So Katie took a bold decision, no turning back.

Two years on, she writes about her struggles with a vein of hope and humour that may help others to cope with the widely misunderstood side-effects of a professional singing career.

Read Katie’s story here.




  • Barbara says:

    A very moving and interesting article. Thanks for putting it on this site.

  • Nick says:

    “How many singers has this happened to?” is a general question posed in the article – and not specifically related to Ms. McAdam’s condition. One of the more obvious artists is surely the ending of the career of soprano Linda Esther Gray. After a sparkling start to what seemed a glorious career with dates contracted at houses like La Scala and the Met, she lost control of her voice and simply could not find it again. She recounts the nightmare in her autobiography.