I am so pleased to have been back singing again this week in my first concert at the Sibelius Academy. It has been such a strange and difficult year for all artists during the pandemic and although the situation is far from over, it was a real joy to get back on stage and to bring some music to an audience once again.
I am also excited to share the news that I will be joining Lee Mingwei’s beautiful and emotive installation ‘Sonic Blossom’, which will come to the Ateneum Gallery in Helsinki in the new year. This project involves singing Schubert’s lieder to visitors of the gallery, sharing the music as a gift to the listener. More information can be found at http://www.leemingwei.com .
Absolutely delighted to announce I will be starting my Master’s studies in Vocal Arts at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland this summer! I am very excited for this next step and new experiences in such an inspiring place.
Thank you to my lovely family and friends and to my teachers Rosa Mannion and Mary King for their belief in me and continued support.
I am delighted to be premiering new piece ‘En Sourdine’ by composer Joel Järventausta, commissioned by Jennifer Coumbe for a commemorative concert to honour the late Charles Richardson. Though the concert has currently been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic, I look forward to singing in the concert when it is rescheduled in the autumn.
It was a wonderful experience to collaborate again on a piece; Joel and I discussed ideas and tried out sketches of the piece at different stages as he built it into a complete work. The piece is for soprano and viola and I very much enjoyed working in this duo for the first time; Katherine Clark is the violist for the premiere and we quickly became responsive to each other in rehearsals, bringing the piece to life.
Details of the premiere will be released in due course.
I finished 2019 with a lovely few concerts on the run up to Christmas; in particular I loved singing for the Funtington Music Group with Tina Gelnere; the concert had a festive atmosphere, the audience were so warm and responsive and I really enjoyed taking a lot of new repertoire into performance.
Now 2020 has arrived and like all my colleagues around the world I am sad to say that my projects for the spring have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. My thoughts are with all of those who have been affected by the virus. These are difficult and unprecedented times for us all.
I am using the time at home to take on more teaching online and I am working on new repertoire and project ideas, ready to get back into things as soon as we all can. There are many fantastic musicians offering lessons for all instruments and styles online now too. What perfect distraction from the grim news that faces us and a great way to keep spirits up, minds active and find relaxation. If you’re interested in trying out lessons with me, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally if you have another instrument in mind, drop me a line and I’ll recommend a colleague where I can.
Many of us love music, theatre, film, TV, dance and art and all artists and arts organisations around the world are being hit hard by this current crisis. If you are able to, please consider supporting the future of the arts now; you could try out a few new lessons, donate to the artists’ funds that are popping up or donate the ticket money for your cancelled concert/show back to the organisation.
After a great summer of singing, I am looking forward to my projects coming up over the next couple of months. I have been appointed as the Assistant Musical Director for Richmond Opera, for their 2019/20 season and I have enjoyed the rehearsals for this project so far. I am also pleased to announce I will be joining the cast for their production of Purcell’s King Arthur too, singing Emmeline, in November. I am also looking forward to my upcoming concert for the Funtington Music Group in December. I will be reuniting with my regular concert partners Tina Gelnere and Chris Coote for an evening of Operatic Arias and song (including a few Christmas numbers too!).
More concerts in the pipeline too, details to follow…
Over this summer, I benefitted from a wonderful few weeks of learning. Firstly with the British Youth Opera, I had the pleasure of working with Will Kerley and Julia Lynch in a week of workshops focussing on acting with singing and how to enhance understanding of characters and stories in my work. It was a fascinating week which gave me so many new tools to approach my singing with and gave me so much more confidence in how to bring more life and character to my work.
I followed this with a week at the Oxenfoord International Summer School, where I was awarded a place on the Opera Scenes programme. Working with directors Janis Kelly and Linda Ormiston, I developed understanding of a range of characters from a variety of musical styles and periods. I was really pleased with the final performance, which showcased the intensive work we had done over the week and how much can be achieved in a short period, when using the techniques and character work we explored.
My final course this summer, Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers, was a wonderful course to really focus on developing my skills as an individual. I explored all aspects of performance with a variety of coaches. I found this multi faceted setup really beneficial, as I gained feedback and coaching for all the different components of a performance. Now that I have come away from this course, I can use this knowledge to further build up all the layers to my performance work.
Thank you to all the coaches that I worked with over these few weeks, to all the management teams of each course and to all the wonderful singers that I spent time with over the few weeks.
I am pleased to be able to share that I have been offered places on the British Youth Opera Workshops Programme, the Opera Scenes Course at Oxenfoord International Summer School and Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers.
Each course will offer intensive coaching, new repertoire, working with teachers whose work I greatly admire and building relationships with more singers.
I will be working on a wide range of repertoire, from scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Tippett’s The Knot Garden to pieces by Brahms, Debussy and Britten and more. I am looking forward to an exciting summer of music-making!
I really enjoyed performing in Opera Kensington’s recent gala, where I sang the Sandmann’s aria and ‘Brüderschen Komm Danz Mit Mir’ from Humperdinck’s ‘Hansel and Gretel’ in a lovely concert in Kensington, with a wonderful team of singers and musicians.
It was also a pleasure to dip back into consort singing by joining the Petersham Consort for their Spring concert, which included works by Allegri and Guerrero.
This week, I look forward to joining forces with the wonderful Tina Gelnere and Chris Coote again for another concert, this time at the lovely Bognor Regis Music Club. This will be my second visit to the club this year and I look forward to singing in this venue, which has a lovely atmosphere. Do come along for an evening of Opera and Song!