She's adorable, she's pretty, she's utterly charming, she's a beautiful singer she's Valerie Masterson. It says a great deal for her that these are sentiments uttered by women as well as men, and it is true to say that she has captivated the hearts of everyone since she joined the Company as a principal soprano in 1964.

She was born and brought up in Cheshire, eventually studying for three years part-time at the Matthay School of Music, Liverpool, before coming to London for four years at the Royal College of Music. She then had a year in Milan studying privately and a year with the Landestheater Opera Company in Salzburg most useful training for one destined to make her name in Gilbert and Sullivan.

During the Promenade Concerts of 1964, Sir Malcolm Sargent chose Valerie to sing twice, once at the Gilbert and Sullivan Prom and later in the Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music". She has also sung at other concerts under Sir Malcolm Sargent.

As well as her performances with the Company, she sings at a great many of the "Gilbert and Sullivan for All" concerts, thus bringing a breath of G. & S. to places which the Opera Company were not always able to visit. She lists her interests as all sports, such as riding, swimming, tennis, and skating, and also collecting recipes. This latter hobby came in very handy when she married Andrew March, principal flute in the D'Oyly Carte Orchestra, especially when they travelled round in their own caravan.

She left the company in 1969 since which she has sung in opera at Covent Garden and made recordings of "La Traviata" (sung in English) and Handel's "Messiah" amongst other works.

G & S Recordings

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