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Patsy Rodenburg

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Patsy Rodenburg, OBE (born 2 September 1953)[1] is a British voice coach, author, and theatre director. She is the Head of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and has also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre.[2]


Rodenburg trained in Voice Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama,[2] and initially worked as an actress before moving into teaching.[3] She has been Head of Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London since 1981 and the Director of Voice at Michael Howard Studios in New York from 1982 -2020.[1] She worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for nine years from 1981, and with the Royal National Theatre from 1990, where she founded their Voice Department.[1][2] She has worked globally with the Moscow Art Theatre, Complicité, Cheek by Jowl, and Comedie-Francaise. She has taught thousands of actors, including Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom, Joseph Fiennes, Ewan McGregor and Fay Ripley.[2]

She has written several books on the subject of voice coaching, including Speaking Shakespeare, The Actor Speaks, The Right to Speak, The Need for Words, and Second Circle (released in the UK as Presence).[1]

In 2005, Rodenburg was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours.[4]

In 2006, Rodenburg directed a production of King Lear at the Electric Lodge theatre in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times called the production "emotionally potent," and Variety's critic claimed, "The brilliant cast brings this play to vibrant, painful life."[5]

In 2010, Rodenburg was listed at number 15 of The Times newspaper's "The Luvvie Power List 2010," a list of theatre's 50 most influential people, saying Rodenburg "has worked with some of the world's most powerful actors, among them Judi Dench and Ian McKellen."[6]

The board of directors at VASTA, the Voice And Speech Trainers Association, honoured Rodenburg with their Lifetime Distinguished Membership. They cite it as an honour reserved for individuals "who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Voice & Speech."[7]

In 2015, Patsy Rodenburg and Michael Howard Studios established The Patsy Rodenburg Center for Voice and Speech. In June 2015, for the first time, Rodenburg began offering a program to train others in her teaching methods and artistic philosophy: The Patsy Rodenburg Master Teacher Certification Program. This leads to certification as a Registered Rodenburg Teacher.[8][9]

In 2020, VASTA's Voice and Speech Review featured Rodenburg Voice and Speech in their Vocal Traditions Series.[10]

Desert Island Discs[edit]

In March 2012 Rodenburg was Kirsty Young's guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Her choices of music were: Mahler Symphony No.5; Sandy Denny - Who Knows Where the Time Goes?; Beethoven Symphony No. 7; Johann Sebastian Bach – Concerto in E Major for Violin; Daniel EvansFinishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim; Jean Sibelius - Violin Concerto; Kathleen FerrierThe Keel Row; Johann Sebastian Bach - Prelude to Cello Suite No.1 in G. Her choice of book was an anthology of poetry and her luxury a supply of "builder's tea".[11]

Personal life[edit]

Rodenburg was married to a teacher at the Royal Central school of Speech and Drama, but his alcoholism led to the breakdown of the relationship. She later lived until 2016 with ballet dancer and choreographer Antonia Franceschi and their son Michael Franceschi.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ms Patsy Rodenburg, OBE". Debrett's People of Today. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Tran, Mark (2 April 2011). "A working life: The voice coach". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  3. ^ Gussow, Mel (8 January 2001). "Henry Higgins Is Real (And Female); Patsy Rodenburg Teaches British Stars How to Speak". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Queen honours Sylvia Young, voice coach Rodenburg and VLV's Hay". The Stage. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  5. ^ Wolf, Matt (4 September 2006). "'We'll Find Out Together': A Voice Coach Tries Her Hand at Directing". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  6. ^ "The luvvie power list 2010: theatre's 50 most influential people". The Times. 15 December 2010.
  7. ^ Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Lifetime Distinguished Members
  8. ^ "News and Updates". Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  10. ^ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23268263.2020.1693139?needAccess=true Rodenburg Voice and Speech featured in VASTA's Voice & Speech Review
  11. ^ a b BBC Radio 4, Desert Island Discs, - Patsy Rodenburg

External links[edit]