A Frisson of Excitement


Next weekend 26/27th October I will be in Blackburn, Lancashire.  I was thrilled and honoured to be one of two second year singers selected to represent my Conservatoire, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers.  Each year the eight major Music Colleges in England, Scotland and Wales select two second year singers between the ages of 19 to 24 years.

I will be singing five songs in the first round of no more than 18 minutes duration.  My Russian friend Olga Ivakina, will be joining me from Glasgow and she will be accompanied on piano by Greta Jackobsonaite.

I will be accompanied by George Todica a third year pianist from Romania, we have enjoyed teaming up together and get along fabulously, he has the same work ethic as me and regardless of the outcome of the competition I have made a new friend that I may not have come into contact with otherwise.  I’m really looking forward to my first performance with him and I’m grateful for the practise time that he has provided.

Kathleen Ferrier

The Kathleen Ferrier Society was formed to celebrate the life and music of Kathleen Ferrier, she was one of the world’s best loved singers. Her voice and warm personality ensured that she became one of the most celebrated British female singers of the 20th Century. Although her professional career was short, little more than ten years, and she died over half a century ago in 1953, she is still held in high regard today and remembered by many with great love and affection.

For anyone interested in joining the society you can find out more here.

If any of you are nearby on Sunday the event is available to watch, I am singing at 12:20 pm in the 10am to 1pm session.  I can feel a frisson of excitement run through me just typing that!  I hope there is an enthusiastic audience as it helps to get your “performance head on” if you know what I mean?  You rehearse and rehearse and I just hope I can relax enough to enjoy the performance because that is what I love to do the most.  When I have competed before it has been to test myself and to find ways to improve but this time I would love to repay the faith that the Conservatoire have shown in me and to thank my teachers at the conservatoire for all their help over the last twelve months and especially Kath,  my vocal teacher.

If you watch ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in the States I feel like the celebrities must feel just before they dance.  You’re waiting in the wings, everything that you have rehearsed running through your mind, then it’s your turn, you walk on to the stage the piano starts playing and you’re off with not just the audience in the room to please but the judges.  At least you don’t get put under a spotlight and the bottom two have to sing off before elimination in front of everyone, I’m only just appreciating how hard that must be.  I do wish all my fellow singers a good show and the best of luck to all the pianists who also have an accompanist’s prize to aim for.

101 thoughts on “A Frisson of Excitement

  1. Congratulations Charlotte … I really regret being too far away, but I promise you that my thoughts will be with you for this évènment. And made ​​you do not worry, it is normal for any artist to stress before arriving in front of a jury and the public, even after years of career.
    Beautiful black is white, damage your left hand ………..
    My best artistic feelings for you

    1. Thanks Pascal, I like that word ‘evenment’. I must not worry too much or it will affect my performance 😉
      I think it’s just how I’m gripping the fabric, unless it is a French term for ‘break a leg’ 😉
      Best wishes

      1. No “breaks”, just that your hand seems weird, but I realized that you keep the fabric ………..
        You have been chosen, so you trust your teacher, administration, your family, your friends, trust yourself, you are extraordinary

  2. My grandfather played Kathleen Ferrier all my childhood, so I love her voice. Imagine all of us supporters ranged behind the judges – only wish I could be there – and enjoy yourself. Great black and white image; it amazing how monochrome dramatises the image. Love the wistful look.

      1. I’m a fan of black and white: it evokes a sense of mystery and it timeless. You also see more contours, subtleties in fabric, etc.
        Colour is sometimes too much in photos.
        What do you prefer?

      2. When people ask me my favourite colour I say rainbow because I can’t choose just one colour ;). I do like the mono in this one, I’ll post the colour version next week then I’ll make my decision.

    1. Thanks Bill, I have all the photographs now in Glasgow so you will be seeing more of them over the next couple of months. After the competition I’d love to record the songs I sing with George if we can to share a few with you all.

      Best wishes

  3. Wonderful, wonderful news! I love the word ‘frisson’…and wish I could see you stun everyone with your incredible voice. Break a leg 🙂

    1. It’s a great word isn’t it, I love learning new words, I have a bit of a habit of using new big words in the wrong context so now I try to learn them in full sentences when I come across them. Frisson is my new word this month 😉
      Best wishes

  4. Many congratulations on being selected and good luck for next weekend! I’ll either be at the Millennium Stadium for the Rugby League World Cup or at my nephew’s second birthday party…Here’s hoping we don’t manage to sell the tickets… 😉

    1. I hope you get your tickets for the Rugby although I love little kiddies birthday parties, I used to have fabulous birthday parties my Mum and Dad used to organise, I’m working on them to organise me a 21st next year.
      Best wishes

  5. Charlotte, Your writing is interesting to read, you should think of writing a book about your experiences as you go along life’s journey . your voice is lovely and so are you. I love the photo too,xx

  6. You will perform with all your talent and as always give 100%. Me and Terry will be there supporting you Charlotte… rah rah rah! 🙂

  7. Good luck in Blackburn at the weekend, not that you’ll need it!
    That B+W photo is truly sumptuous. Great publicity shot.
    Regards from Norfolk. Pete.

    1. Hi Jessica thank you, you’ve just reminded me I must sort out my posters for my next performances and put them on Facebook, the last three weeks have been zooming by.
      Best wishes

  8. Wonderful, Charlotte! And congratulations. I am sure you’ll sail right through it. I look forward to hearing how it felt for you! 🙂 I look even more forward to someday seeing you perform in person at the Royal Opera House (I get to London far more often than Scotland!). All the best, and as they say here in the States, break a leg! Or, perhaps more appropriate for opera: In bocca al lupo!

    1. Thanks Sarah, but it’s not going to be an easy sail :/ I hope it’s smooth and if it is stormy it just gets more exciting, whatever happens I’m just thrilled to enter for the experience and the chance to hear the other singers in my year from all around the UK and their chosen repertoire.
      I’d love to perform at the Royal Opera House what a dream come true that would be 😉
      Best wishes

    1. Thanks Martin, I used a similar photograph for the poster for my next event on the 9th November in Derbyshire called ‘Autumn Leaves’, its a beautiful colour when you see it on a blog post next week you’ll have to let me know.
      Best wishes

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