A soubrette was originally a maid in a French comedy, and as such was pert, petite, and pretty; Pauline Wales was the embodiment of all these, and in addition she fairly twinkled her way through the operas.
Her parents were both musical, and from a very early age Pauline showed an intense interest in singing; from her home in Stockton-on-Tees she travelled weekly to Newcastle upon Tyne for five years to study with the late Kathleen Ferrier's teacher, and to gain stage experience she joined the Stockton Stage Society. Here she played the soubrette lead in musical comedies like "New Moon", "The Maid of the Mountains", "The Student Prince", and so on; but all along her one ambition was to join the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Regularly she bombarded the office with her letters asking for an audition, and equally regularly she was told to wait until she was eighteen. Finally the great day came, in 1959, when she was old enough to be heard at an audition; she was immediately engaged as a member of the chorus, and later shared the principal mezzo parts with Peggy Ann Jones. She married Thomas Lawlor on August 2nd 1971 and retired from the company in 1974.
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