SINGING MY WAY TO SOMEWHERE LAND
A Journey from Shipyard Apprentice to Opera Singer
by Alan Workman
Born into a typical 1929 working class family in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire,
Alan Workman remembers his early life in detail, including being evacuated to
the countryside during the war.
His first job was for the Co-op Dairy when he was still 13 years old, but it
wasn’t long before he started work as an apprentice at Vickers Armstrongs’ shipyard. It was during this time that he heard the wonderful tenor voice of
Enrico Caruso on his father’s radio and from that moment he strived for a career in singing.
Following his National Service with the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers he made the decision to move down to London to further his
singing ambition. He took hotel, garage, brewery, hospital and shop work while
continuing his voice training with coaches and tutors, and it was now that he
met and married Barbara.
His singing career became full-time when he was accepted as one of the George
Mitchell Singers, singing in the Hylda Baker Show. This was the show-business
side of singing though, and it was opera he really loved, so he soon auditioned
and was accepted into the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company, where he remained for seven years. As this involved
touring, he and Barbara decided to purchase a dormobile and for three years had
their home wherever the tour led them. At this time too, he started to write
children’s novels, two of which have been published so far.
On leaving Sadler’s Wells he became a successful solo club singer under the name of Alan Morrell,
regularly sharing the bill with artists such as Marti Caine, Little and Large,
Paul Shane and Paul Daniels. His success grew through to his retirement from
singing, since when he has continued to be busy writing his children’s books.