2015 – Glyndebourne Academy
What kind of singing experience did you have before doing Glyndebourne Academy?
‘Prior to Glyndebourne Academy I was having weekly singing lessons and attending the Scottish Opera Connect chorus. I was also a part of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus and several choirs in school. I did both my singing and violin grade 8 before I applied to Glyndebourne Academy and had experience with the Junior Conservatoire at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for a few years.’
What was it that attracted you to come to down to Glyndebourne from Scotland?
‘Having always dreamed about visiting Glyndebourne I jumped at the chance to audition. For me, Glyndebourne was an amazing, almost magical place that I only dreamed about going to, let alone sing at. Living in Scotland, it’s hard for me to travel down south due to commitments with school, university and work, so being able to attend Glyndebourne Academy was an incredible, life-changing opportunity.’
What do you believe you gained from the experience?
‘I took away many things from my Glyndebourne Academy experience. I learned a lot about how the music, text and characterisation all come together in one aria. Musically, I learned the importance of vocal health and the need for a solid singing technique. Regarding the text, Italian is a tricky language and it is important to fully understand what you are singing so that you can translate this into acting and characterisation. Overall, one of the most important things I learned was confidence. I feel a lot more secure and comfortable as a performer and this has purely come about due to the lovely and safe environment the Academy possesses.’
What would you say to anyone else thinking of applying for Glyndebourne Academy?
‘The programme has been a life changing experience. I have been challenged and inspired in so many different ways. I have also met incredible people along the way who share my passion for music. I would highly recommend Glyndebourne Academy to those with an opera career in mind. It has given me a flavour of what working with a professional company would be like and has fuelled me with a desire to continue striving towards my goals.’
What have you done since Glyndebourne Academy and what do you plan to do in the future?
‘Since the Glyndebourne Academy, I have been involved with the Italian Opera Summer School run by Isabella Radcliffe. This was a fantastic opportunity to go to Italy and develop my music, performance and, most importantly, language skills while being surrounded by beautiful culture. I have also been involved performing the role of Cherubino in France alongside another member of the Glyndebourne Academy and a summer workshop with British Youth Opera. Both were invaluable experiences for me as a performer. In addition to this, I am attending the North Wales Opera Studio at Christmas for a two week long course recommend to me by another member of the Academy. All of these opportunities would not have been made available to me if it had not been for Glyndebourne. I have made great connections and friends with those who share my love of opera. I still hope to progress to a Masters in Vocal Performance after my undergraduate degree in History and Italian.’
Glyndebourne Academy, 2015. Photo: Sam Stephenson
[Information collected 31/11/2016]