Singers mourn one of Britain’s great teachers

Singers mourn one of Britain’s great teachers


norman lebrecht

August 28, 2019

We have been informed of the death of Patrick McGuigan, a baritone who went on to teach such memorable talents as John Tomlinson, Gwynn Howell, John Connell and Keith Latham.

Patrick was 86 and had been ill for a while.

Born in Dublin, he sang roles at Sadlers Wells, Glyndebourne, Welsh and Kent Opera before becoming an instructor at the  Royal Manchester College of Music (as it then was). He married Caroline Crawshaw, a fellow-singer,and together with Barbara Rowbotham they created the best vocal studio inn the UK. Aside from singing, he adored equestrian events.

Mark Glanville writes: ‘RIP Paddy McGuigan. Loved that man. Was meant to see him on Monday but he was too ill. If anyone made the most of his life, it was Paddy.’

pictured: Patrick Mcguigan with (l-r): Nigel Fair, Caroline Crawshaw, Mark Glanville, David Ellis and Howard Neil Charles



  • John Rook says:

    RIP Paddy, a wonderful man. Interesting to see how his former students have all become folically challenged since the 1980’s. I’d swear the blonde is Caroline, though.

  • John Rook says:


  • Maria says:

    There are six names attached to that photo, but aren’t there five people in it? Paddy was assistant head of vocal studies when I was at the RNCM.

  • Sue Valentine says:

    Loved accompanying for his lessons as a student at the RNCM. Super sense of humour and full of empathy for his students. He played Dulcamara in an RNCM student production of L’elisir d’amore in Douglas, IOM, directed by Joe Ward, and was fabulous both on-stage and off. Even completely unfazed when the live donkey refused to enter one night, leaving him holding the on-stage end of the rein whilst the donkey remained firmly off-stage! He didn’t miss a beat! RIP Paddy xx

  • Like so many of us, I am saddened to hear of the death of Paddy McGuigan.

    I entered RNCM at the age of 32, specifically to study with Paddy. When it became clear that I was one of those for whom Paddy’s teaching didn’t work, it was Paddy who decided I should change, and Paddy who went against the College’s decision as to whom my new teacher should be, to get me to the teacher I wanted – Anthony Roden, with whom I still study years later.

    So, in a weird way, like so many many singers, I have Paddy to thank for my career.

    I will always be glad to have known him.

  • Alun Francis says:

    Terribly sad to read of Paddy’s passing away.

    He and I lived in adjoining flats in the Hathersage Road in Manchester, during my 3 years at the College.

    He was like an elder brother for me.

    Paddy will be sorely missed by many of us.

    A truly inspiring person.

    I for sure will never forget him.

  • Kurt Gänzl says:

    DER DORFBARBIER .. Opera Piccola .. Sheffield …