Apologies for the lateness of some of this news but I needed to wrap up some performances before I could manage to get another blog together.
I have several bits of news and also some upcoming performances to let you know about:
I am thrilled to announce that I won the John Kerr Award on the 8th October at St Lawrence's Church, High Wycombe!!
It was just starting to feel like autumn with some fairly gloomy skies looming overhead but Noah and I were in good spirits as we arrived in High Wycombe at 9:33am ready for morning rehearsals. The line-up of finalists consisted entirely of sopranos but against worldwide expectations of rivalry we all managed to get on very well and had a lot of cosy chats up in the church 'green room' while we waited for our turn and for the daunting final results along with our long-suffering accompanists and visiting family.
I was on first (at 2pm), full of nervous excitement and some trepidation as I had selected some fairly eclectic repertoire. This included a tricky contralto song by Grace Williams which I had requested in a higher key specifically for this event and a fun Geordie song about the River Tyne by Eric Boswell.
Although I had picked songs that I absolutely loved, I wasn't sure how it was going to go down with the panel especially as I had never performed any of these songs before. When I made my applications in August, I thought that it was a good excuse to learn some lovely new pieces, a spirit of good intentions which I had started to regret by early September.
However, when I actually got up on the stage, I enjoyed myself immensely. I think that when you have spent hours preparing material all on your own it is just a joy to finally share it with other people.
I should receive a copy of the recording which I will gladly share when it arrives.
( PS: I am currently making my application for the Mozart Competition 2017...)
...Three days later I was performing for the opening night of 'Dido and...'. This was a collaborative reconstruction of 'Dido and Aeneas' with the Helios Collective with a re-imagining of the story-line in which Dido and Belinda are in a secret relationship which they have to fight for once Aeneas and his band of drunken sailors arrive. The performances were at Kings College London and included discussions on the nature of the changes that were made and whether it is worthwhile, viable and acceptable to change aspects of opera to serve new ideas about a piece. This experiment was made at the request of Professor Dan Leech-Wilkinson, a lecturer at KCL and footage for a documentary on the subject was also filmed during the process. A portion of this footage is available on the following link (I hope more will be available at some point):
I will be starting a new project with the Helios Collective in collaboration with ENO and KCL next week. This is the Formations Masterclasses with Janis Kelly, Mark Wigglesworth, Jonathan Moore, David Pountney and Judith Weir. I will be performing the role of 'The Woman' in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' a completely new 20 minute opera about historical treatment of mental illness in women and the potentially devastating consequences of the 'resting cure'. More information and tickets to the masterclasses and final performance can be found here:
...In the spirit of Halloween
If you have not done so already, check out my video from last year's 'Genesis of Frankenstein' by Robert Hugill at the bottom of my MEDIA page.