A memorable mezzo has died

A memorable mezzo has died


norman lebrecht

October 20, 2015

‘The gorgeous mezzo soprano Patricia Kern … passed away yesterday,’ reports her former student, the Canadian bass-baritone Trevor Bowes.

Welsh born, Patricia was a star of Sadlers Wells in the 1960s, going on to appear at Covent Garden, Chicago and Washington DC before becoming an influential teacher in Toronto.

Patricia was 88. She was widely treasured and will be widely missed.

patricia kern

Her Lieder voice has an almost-vanished Ferrier timbre.


  • Federico says:

    I remember her excellent interpretation of Romeo and Juliet for Philips with Robert Tear and Colin Davis. RIP

  • Nick says:

    She will also be fondly remembered in Scotland where she was a regular guest artiste with Scottish Opera in the 1970s and where her roles included Ottavia in Poppea, Genevieve in Pelleas and Hermia in Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  • James Alexander says:

    @Nick. Yes good memories of her performances in Glasgow. She was also a superb Hansel on a seminal recording of the Humperdink masterpiece in English if I recall correctly. RIP.

  • Patrick John Gordon Shaw says:

    Quite unsurpassingly glorious in the Davis Berlioz ‘ Romeo’ . Sincerest condolences to her family! We also lost someone dear yesterday and it has been a numbing 24 hours since!

  • Gary Kline says:

    I am forever grateful for my voice lessons with Miss Kern! Traveling from Pittsburgh to Toronto over a period of five years to study with Patricia, I now pass on that marvelous technique I learned from her teacher in Wales to my own students at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. There are many Broadway stars who sing with the techniques passed down through Miss Kern to me. I am forever grateful! Gary Kline, Professor, CMU

  • James Hay says:

    I was a great admirer of Patricia Kern. The warmth and richness of tone in her voice was like pouring double cream.

    Luckily, I have several of her marvellous recording including Hansel and Gretel, Iolanthe and The Mikado, with whom she appeared at Sadler’s Wells with my teacher, John Wakefield. Miss Kern sang Pitti Sing.

    Her Cenerentola was one of the best I have ever heard.

    I was so very sorry to learn of her death. A great artist and teacher who will be missed.

    James Hay London