Helena Patricia Shenel (nee Leahy), vocal coach to the stars, has died at the age of 89. She sang parts in musicals The King and I, Cats, Pickwick and Evita but was better known as a voice coach to popular singers, most notably Dame Shirley Bassey, whose voice faltered following the death of her daughter. She believed that ‘unnecessary effort disrupts function’ and her method was therefore to encourage singers to relax as they performed.
Philip L. Scowcroft.
May This wonderful and gifted Helena Shenel
rest in peace. She fulfilled her life’s mission-
in helping singers to get back and sing even better than before! God bless you Helena . Olga Dodekova a Singer.
Helena, you will be GREATLY MISSED.
You were my VOCAL coach. My FIRST coach! I had just moved to London. I still remember my first lesson with you.
I had just moved to London (July 1989) and though I had always ADORED singing and as a teenager used to sing every day in my room, I had never “dared” think that I had a VOICE and COULD sing.
Well, discovering, in London, that I had a voice was an incredible REVOLUTION for me, and you were a FUNDAMENTAL part of that indescribable revolution!
You were aAMAZING with me: I had huge vocal problems and your pianist after a lesson asked you why she was wasting her time with me. You replied that it was NONE of her business and that you felt I had a voice and could sing! Well, about 2-3 years later my voice had changed so much!
THIS was you Helena!
You were so ENCOURAGING!
I am so HONORED I had you as my vocal coach, My FIRST vocal coach!!!