News & Features

In memory of Peter Bodenham 1951 - 2015


Opera North is sad to announce the death of Peter Bodenham, a long-term member of the Chorus of Opera North.

Peter was born in Manchester and studied at the RNCM.  He joined the Chorus of Opera North from Scottish Opera in 1981, and that year took the role of the Ringmaster inThe Bartered Bride, with his wife Marie Slorach singing the role of Mařenka. It was a role he continued to perform whenever the piece was revived, most recently in our 2014 Autumn season.

Peter was a remarkable colleague and musician, who made a huge impact on the work of Opera North.  His versatility as a stage animal and as a member of the Chorus was demonstrated time and again in the countless roles and covers he undertook during the 34 years he devoted to the Company.

We will remember him as a wonderful colleague, for his positive energy, and for the humour – just the right dose! – that he brought to any situation, as shown in this video which Peter and his son David made last year, when preparing to go on stage as 'Handsome' in The Girl of the Golden West.

We shall miss Peter hugely and will never forget what he achieved and contributed to all our lives at Opera North.

What you say

Comment from Jean Mosley


Jean Mosley said ago

I am so very sorry to hear of Peter's death on 3rd August. I first met him in 1967 at St John's College in Manchester. My late husband Paul and I were in the Operatic Society and Peter came to join us. He burst onto the stage, as a young seventeen year old, in "The Gondoliers" and sang "For the Merriest Fellows Are We" with the glorious tenor voice he had. His talent was recognised then and Emlyn Rowlands, the Director of the Society, knew then that he would go far. He encouraged and supported Peter in obtaining a place at NSM and then went to RNCM when it opened. We followed his progress and saw him develop into the fine singer he became. He will be sadly missed as a great friend, and a good, genuine man. Such a sad loss. RIP Pete xxxx and love to Marie and David.

Comment from peter hall


peter hall said ago

Oh, this is the sadest news. It feels like I've known and worked with Pete all my life. What a marvellous and generous colleague, but more importantly what a dear old friend. So many wonderful memories of such varied work together throughout the 80s and 90s. Rest in peace old pal xxx

Comment from John


John said ago

Oh dear, oh dear - how desperately sad .... I am so very sorry to hear of Peter's death ... far to early! I first met him in 1971 at the Northern School of Music - and we became firm friends - life then was so easy and an absolute blast. He was a first class musician who possessed a glorious bright tenor voice with a sound and excellent technique - he was also a demon table tennis player of high quality - right from the first 'opera excerpts' we did together - he sang a glorious Rudolfo in La Boheme, along with Kate Flowers as Musetta, it was obvious to us all that he not only was the best tenor at the NSM, but also possessed a natural stage craft! ... Then at the end of 1971, before the NSM amalgamated with the RMCM, he brilliantly sang Max in Der Freischütz along with Kate Flowers singing Aennchen in a production on the infamous 'pocket handkerchief' stage of the Lesser Free Trade Hall (above the main hall) - there was no room at all on stage for any of our rehearsed 'business'- it was laughable ...we all drowned our sorrows far to frequently in the pub opposite the Free Trade Hall ...! We met up again a few years later in Leeds at ENON as it was known in 1978 .... oh there are far too many wonderful memories of that time to mention here...All that remains to be said is that he was a fine and generous colleague, a fine friend, and a fine and good man - and my thoughts are with Marie and David at this cruel time.

Comment from Kate Flowers


Kate Flowers said ago

I can't imagine a world without Pete in it - he burst into my life at college and we shared the stage at Opera North many a time. This is such a sad day. RIP Pete xxxxx and love to Marie and David.

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