David Hughes Pop Star to Opera Star
Introducing DAVID HUGHES: David Hughes was a pop idol in the 1950s who became a celebrated opera singer. David was born Geoffrey Paddison on October 11th 1925 in Birmingham and affectionately used his father’s name, David Hughes Paddison, as a stage name. After being demobbed from the RAF in 1947 David began a career in singing. Record contracts and television shows made him a household name by the end of the 1950's. His fans fondly called him Mr. Heart-Throb. He made a brave decision early in the 1960s to switch to singing in operas. The end of the 1960s established David Hughes in the opera world. Amongst his performances were Idomeneo at Glyndebourne, Don Jose in Carmen with the Welsh and English National Opera Companies and in Verdi’s Requiem in Genoa, Italy. In October 1972 David collapsed on stage while performing Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. He revived and went on to complete the performance but died in hospital the following day of a heart attack. Click on the musical notes to hear David sing “None Shall Sleep Tonight”.
His singing career spanned two decades and David Hughes performed on stages throughout Britain and Europe. He made many records and sang on the radio and television. His fans and admirers travelled from far and wide to see him perform on stage. His records were high in the charts and his contemporaries respected him when he courageously changed from his pop music career to the challenging roles of an opera singer.
Listen to some audio clips of David’s records from the 1950s. Click on the musical notes to start.
Listen to some audio clips of David’s records from the 1960s. Click on the musical notes to start.
Note: tracks 1 and 2 are from the original vinyl recording.
All tracks sung by David are with the approval of Vocalion and EMI Publishing. I thank both of them for their help and advice.