Paton, Mary Anne



Popular singer; born of a musical family at Edinburgh, and educated by her parents. This infant prodigy, when only two years old, could name any tone or semitone that she heard. She sang like a bird, and at four was able to play the harp, violin and piano, for which two years later she composed some fantasies and other music, n 1810, then but eight years old, she appeared as a singer, reciter and player. Then the family moved to London, and for three years she appeared at private concerts with limited success. Having retired in 1814 to complete her education and regain her health, she reappeared, making a remarkably successful debut in 1822 at the Haymarket Theatre, London, as Susanna in the Marriage of Figaro. She then sang successfully in The Barber of Seville, The Beggar's Opera, Artaxerxes, and in Weber's Der Freischütz, on its first performance in London in 1824 and in Oberon when it was first produced in 1826. She created the role of Alice in an English version of Robert le Diable in 1832. In 1834 she came to the United States with her husband, Joseph Wood, an operatic tenor of considerable ability, and they repeated the trip in 1835 and 1836. Retiring to her husband's estate at Woolley Moor, in 1843, she remained there until 1854, after which she lived abroad. She died soon after her return to England in 1864.