Opera North is greatly saddened to hear of the death of Patricia, Dowager Countess of Harewood (1926 – 2018) who, after a long illness, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday 4 May.
George Lascelles, the Dowager Countess's late husband and the 7th Earl of Harewood, was the founder of Opera North and Patricia took a lively interest in the Company throughout their marriage and after his death.
Born in Australia where Lord and Lady Harewood later acquired an apartment, Patricia grew up in a family of musicians and was a model and a violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She shared her passion for music with her husband, becoming President of the Friends of Opera North and celebrating her 90th birthday in the Howard Assembly Room in 2016.
The Countess cared deeply about Harewood House where, shortly after her arrival, she created the bird garden which, as well as being a popular tourist attraction in its own right, has since become a noteworthy centre for bird conservation. She was also keen on football, becoming the honorary president of Leeds United Football Club in 2017.
Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North, commented:
Patricia Harewood was a tireless supporter of Opera North and a great advocate of our work. We were thrilled when she chose to hold her birthday celebrations with us in the Howard Assembly Room, particularly as it gave us an opportunity to show her in what esteem she was held by everyone in the Company. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time. She will be greatly missed.
The Dowager Countess of Harewood, born 24 November 1926, died 4 May 2018.
90th Birthday Celebrations. Photo credit: Amy Charles
Head of Music David Cowan, Opera North Associate Artist Soraya Mafi, Lesley Garrett, the Dowager Countess of Harewood, soprano Joan Rodgers and Opera North Associate Artist Heather Lowe. Photo credit: Opera North