"It is with much sadness that I am contacting you regarding one of your honorary members, Hilary Phoenix.
Hilary (my aunt, and my mum’s twin sister), passed away peacefully at her care home in Watford, Hertfordshire, on 17th September. She had been suffering from dementia and had become very frail in her last few weeks.
Please would you be so kind as to communicate this news to the wider team at Duchy Opera. I am sure she had many friends and contacts who may wish to know."
"Our Auntie Hilary was a real gem - a talented performer with a beautiful voice, and a truly warm and kind person. We enjoyed watching her in Duchy Opera performances when we were visiting her in Cornwall. I always loved the fact that she sang in such a variety of beautiful places - National Trust Properties/ Stately Homes/ outdoor venues (brave!). And I know that Duchy Opera gave her so much pleasure and a new lease of life when she moved down to the South-West from Hertfordshire. She loved singing and performing; she is an inspiration to me as she sang Despina at the age of 65, something I shall aspire to!
Her funeral took place on 11th October at St Lawrence Church in Abbot's Langley, Herts. It was where she and Derrick were married back in 1983, and where she and twin Josephine lived for many years when they first moved to the area. It was a lovely service, complete with some recordings of Hilary singing. "