Opera In The Park

August 7, 2014 — 34 Comments


Christopher Gillett writes in Sinfinimusic:   “Now, it’s not unusual for singers to spend as many as eight or nine years closeted as a student, during which time they become saddled with staggering amounts of debt.

After that, if they are well-developed, lucky, or happen to tick the right boxes, the young singer may get taken by an opera house into its ‘studio’ or young artist programme (YAP), doing a lot of understudying and singing minor roles. Those that don’t can find it very difficult to get noticed, some even resorting to paying small companies to allow them to sing principal roles”

Yikes! However there was a bit of good news:

Opera Holland Park has come up with a brilliant and heart-warming solution. For one of its productions – this year it was The Turn of the Screw – it has a proper, public performance specifically for the young artists who have covered the rest of the shows. There are no half measures, no compromises. They get to do one performance and the public pays to see it. They even get their own dress rehearsal. I think that’s just brilliant. I take my hat off to Holland Park.”


Which leads me on nicely to tell you about my fabulous opportunity on Wednesday night to see Bellini’s ‘Norma’ at Opera Holland Park (OHP), my first live outdoor opera, absolutely sublime, with Dane Lam conducting the City of London Sinfonia orchestra and I was also pleased to see two singers I knew; Huw Montague Rendall from the Royal College of Music (a finalist whom I met at the Ferrier competition) and Luke Sinclair from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the chorus.  Dane Lam was the first conductor that I ever worked with at JRNCM and has always inspired me to work hard to achieve my dreams. He has just been appointed Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of China’s Xi’an Symphony Orchestra He is due to take on the challenge in October this year ( 2014 ) and I do wish him every success.


I had one hiccup when I walked out of the wrong exit of OHP grounds and followed a group of people to the wrong tube line, everyone I asked for advice on how to get to the Circle Line were tourists and my phone was nearly dead so I didn’t want to use up too much 3G trying to Google Map myself. I had a very small amount of cash and asked a black cab if it was enough to get me to the nearest circle line tube station, he was very friendly and helpful and got me to the right connection. My Mum said she’d have booked me a cab if she’d have known I’d be walking around London on my own but I’d got an Oyster Card for the Tube (underground) and my brother Matt had taken me after work to make sure I knew my Tube connections.


Getting Ready For My First Day In London.


34 responses to Opera In The Park


    Nice pose 🙂


    That’s crazy Charlotte, we (my husband and I) were there. We actually left early, but we could have stayed, if only we’d known, and walked you to the tube, which we too have to catch. I sort of kept an eye out for you as I knew you might be around, but didn’t see you. I’m glad you got to enjoy it, in spite of travel problems, it is the trickiest place to get to.


      Awww I would have loved to have met you in person, it was so tricky to find, we asked a policeman and he directed us. Everything looks so different in the dark and I lost my bearings I should have left a trail . It was a very last minute thing it gave me lots to think about.

      Best wishes


    All the best for you Charlotte !


    Glad you figured out the right line. When I was in London I never did. Always lost.


      I’m just getting my head around it, luckily my big brother’s lived here for two years now, so he’s been a big help, we usually take a short break in London each year to see shows and sale shop so I know central London but we usually walk everywhere or take a taxi because there are five of us so it’s more cost effective. I must admit for a minute I thought oh heck I wonder if taxi’s take a debit card 🙂

      Best wishes


    I hope you are exploring Opera companies all over the world. It would be lovely if you came to California and we could go to see you perform. A delightful post as always. I see great things ahead for you — you have everything needed. Beauty, talent, and personality.


      Thanks Beth, I was invited to my gorgeous friend Danielle’s wedding this month in California but I need to work to carry me through the winter term and couldn’t raise the funds for the airfare on top of my pre-planned holiday but I will make it there and I’d love to perform in the USA a real dream.

      Best wishes


    I am glad you got way around tube in London. I think the system is one of the best. Cab is also fun.


      I have found the tube fairly straight forward, the underground maps are very good, I love black cabs in London just hailing them at the side of the road is such a great thing to do.

      Best wishes


    All the best for you, Charlotte. God bless you.


    Everything in life ids a learning process. Just forget the scars . . . Be a STAR!


    There is a big wow of a smile you have there.


      I was so excited Don and I’ve learnt so much, I could do with a week just to take it all in now. I don’t think Londoners are used to people smiling at them all the time, I’ve had so many comments like that this week 🙂

      Best wishes


    Another interesting post, Charlotte. Thank you so much!


    I love outdoor performances – as long as it isn’t raining too hard! A wonderful opportunity to see a lovely opera. I always worry about my daughter when she is out late at night after she went beyond her stop on a bus route she had never been on before, ran out of money and had a dead phone, just like you! What a sensible young woman you are!


    Sounds great – except for the getting lost part…


      It was a great experience, so happy. I wasn’t lost for long but I must admit as it was getting darker and less street lights I did think ‘this isn’t good :/’.

      Best wishes

    Annette Rochelle Aben August 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    a grand adventure to be sure and through it all you maintain your poise and sense of humor!


      It is a grand adventure being in the big City on my own, I know I live in Glasgow alone but it is a very compact City and I have lots of friends to walk with and taxi’s are low cost if it’s late and I’m alone. I come from a small town with no public transport after 6pm so we go everywhere with lifts off our parents.

      Best wishes


    I like the photos. Have fun.


    London cabbies are the best! Are you hoping one day to perform at Opera Holland Park yourself?


    Wow! Finally I got a web site from where I can really get uswful data regarding my study and knowledge.

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