Mary-Louise was a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, from where she was awarded a scholarship to study at the RNCM. As well as gaining a BMus RNCM(Hons) degree, she won many major awards. These included the John Ireland Song Competition, the Brigitte Fassbaender Lieder Prize, (presented by Frau Fassbaender herself) and was a Finalist in the 1995 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Mary-Louise sang in several opera excerpts on a series for BBC2 called Opera Works with Sir Jonathan Miller . At twenty-one, she was the youngest ever singer to be invited to sing in the Glyndebourne Chorus and in that same year, Mary-Louise won the International Young Singer of the Year Award at The Llangollen Musical Eisteddfod . Only two years after leaving college, she was awarded the 1999 Promise Award at Glyndebourne.
Mary-Louise sang a number of roles for WNO and worked under conductors including Daniel Harding and Vladimir Jurowski. In 1999, Mary-Louise sang the role of Melisande for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and was invited to sing the role of Melisande again at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna.
Leaving the world of Opera behind, Mary-Louise designed and teaches a unique phonics program which draws on the science of Synaesthesia. The method combines singing with colour-associations and is currently under trial in association with Oxford University and the Dyslexia Research Trust.