Autumn/ Winter Update
Dearest Blog Recipients
It has been an amazing couple of months in my (still very new) career as a freelance opera singer and I wanted to make sure I shared some of what I have been up to with you all. Apart from everything below, I am also very excited because I have officially entered into a new milestone.... that of having been employed for a gig as soloist for two years ahead in 2018!!! I feel that I should celebrate this momentous occasion by buying my first five-year diary ...
King Roger, Calling the Shots, Channel 4
The opera music video which was shot on June by Channel 4 has just today become available to us and I am so excited to be able to share this with you now!! I am singing and performing in the video alongside two amazingly talented dancers Nicola Migliorati and Nick Herman. I also translated the text from the original Polish to work with our new story. Enjoy!
Dido and ....
In November, myself and bunch of dedicated performers, musicians, directors and choreographers set out to re-imagine Purcell's Dido and Aeneas as an empowering tale of two women trying to escape the crushing expectations of their world (here - the fashion world - in fortuitously close proximity to London's fashion week next door at Somerset house). Potentially ill-advisedly, they turn to a dangerous collection of characters in order to free - and perhaps change - themselves permanently. Since the story has been so drastically altered ...so must the music. In the capable hands of Leo Geyer, the witches den becomes a heavy dance number and Dido's opening aria is given 'lazy Jazz feel' to name a few such moments.
Below is a short video explaining a little more about the 'Dido and ....' project at King's College London with some early rehearsal footage. There will eventually be a full documentary about the process of reconstructing Purcell's work along with clips from the performances and final talks.
Above are some of the dress rehearsal shots taken by David Tett...
Helios Collective in Collaboration with ENO: Formations 2016:
The Yellow Wallpaper
Two weeks after 'Dido and...' closed, I was thrown headlong into rehearsals for 'The Yellow Wallpaper' a completely new opera written by Grace-Evangeline Mason based on the short story by Charlotte Gilman. It shows the potentially devastating consequences of the 'resting cure' for, then, misunderstood mental illnesses. In what is essentially a state of solitary confinement and sensory deprivation, the unnamed woman becomes fixated on the yellow wallpaper and begins to lose her grip on reality.
Alongside our opera, two more were to be performed as a triple bill. These were 'Dead equal' which explored the role of women in the armed forces and 'Thornstein Shiver' a darkly comic opera set in viking times. Altogether, three very different shows.
As soon as we had finished blocking we performed for five important figures in the opera world: Janis Kelly (singer), Mark Wigglesworth (conductor), Jonathan Moore (actor, writer, director), David Pountney (director) and Judith Wier (Composer).
In each of the sessions, a different aspect of the whole process was explored with each master bringing their own experience to constructively analyze our work and give us ideas about what could be improved upon. The discussion was often opened up to everybody in the room and there was much of interest to discuss as we explored the different (often changing) roles at play in the creation of any opera performance.
Much of the process has been filmed and I will hopefully be able to make it available to you.
Bury Court: Mad King Sweeney
I have been cast as the role of Eorran in a new opera about the Mad King from the Irish Folk Tale Sweeney (Shuibhne). Rehearsals begin in February and the first performance is on March 11th.
Below is a recording of me singing Eorran's Aria. Sweeney has already gone mad and is living in the forest. Here, a heartbroken Eorran wonders if he is safe and happy.
I have received the recordings from The John Kerr Award for English Song, courtesy of Chris Ball and have put some up on Soundcloud. If you would like to listen just follow the link below: