The Story of Mary Levine

A short story about how I met Mary Levine the pianist...

I had lived in London for 5 years, attending the London Opera Centre and living the singer’s life. Back home, I was touring for Overture Concerts with the Western Savoyards and with Sarabande, a vocal cross-over trio. But when I met Mary, 8 years later, I was living in Quesnel on a farm, being a hippy mum to three kids and operating a restaurant, co-founded with the kids’ dad. I definitely had NO time for singing anymore, especially with three kids under 6 years old and working day and night! But one night, the troupe from the Barkerville Theatre came in for a late dinner. I was cleaning the grill in the kitchen when I heard an unknown woman’s stentorian cry….”who belongs to this music?”. Mary had found my stash of classical music on top of the restaurant piano. I came out from the kitchen, greasy apron and all, and confessed. She sat down on the bench and we proceeded to sing through two hours worth of music. I was in heaven!! This angelic and imperious woman insisted that we make music together (which we began to do immediately} and that when she returned the following summer from Washington State for her on-going gig with the Barkerville Theatre, we would do recitals….. which we did. She revived my parched singer’s soul and for that, I will be eternally grateful. She was larger than life, an incredible musician and I loved her deeply. She kick-started my on-going singer’s journey and when I returned to Vancouver in 1990, my singing life began again in earnest. [Thanks George Zuckerman, Overture Concerts, for remembering me and supporting me in my new incarnation as “The Two Patricias”. ]

But mostly, RIP, Mary Levine, my musical godmother!!