Abby Hadfield

Abby Hadfield (1963-70, 1971)

[Born Macclesfield, Cheshire]

Abby Hadfield trained at the Royal College of Music in Manchester, and worked for a time in television and as a professional model. She joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in September 1963, and from late 1965 to August 1970 was understudy to principal mezzo-soprano parts, appearing occasionally from 1966 onward as Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Lady Angela in Patience. She may be seen in the chorus of the 1966 film version of The Mikado.

In September 1968 she took her first named part on a regular basis:Ada in Princess Ida, and in January 1969 she added Isabel in The Pirates of Penzance when Julia Goss moved up to Mabel. In September 1969 Miss Hadfield took over Vittoria in The Gondoliers, a small part she'd played on occasion the preceding season.

Abby Hadfield left the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in August 1970. She would return briefly to the chorus in July-August 1971 for special productions of Princess Ida, The Mikado, The Yeomen of the Guard, and The Gondoliers at Royal Festival Hall.

She was married for a time to Peter Riley, D'Oyly Carte Company manager. After leaving the Company, Miss Hadfield did not give up performing altogether. She appeared as Robinson Crusoe in a January 1974 pantomime in Aldershot, and in the late 1970s worked for a spell as puppeteer during the second season of The Muppet Show.

Page modified February 12, 2007 © 2001-07 David Stone