Here Comes Summer

My third year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is over, it’s gone so fast.  This week I had the pleasure of being invited to take part in the ‘Young Classical Artists Summer School’ organised by Fife Youth Arts Hub. This was the first of its kind and I was very excited to be working on this pilot project.


The week was led by professional artists and teachers: Judith Howarth, Gordon Wilson and Frances McCafferty, who were fabulous and very informative to work with. The rehearsals took place in the very friendly Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy. It was here that I received one-to-one coaching sessions with Judith daily and and group stage theatre workshops with Tina West, Acting and Performing Fife college and Tommy Small, BBC radio 2 Artist in Residence.

We also had the opportunity to signup to work with three wonderful repetiteurs Geoffrey Tanti, Beth Jerem and Alan Gibson. I had the pleasure to work with all three and they scrutinized my Italian pronunciation and musicality. Hard work but very fulfilling. Over the course of the five days I worked on a few Mozart arias and two scenes: one from Carmen and the other from La Traviata. For me, I found getting my mouth and tongue around the Italian words in the fast recit to be quite tricky, but the coaches were on hand to help break this challenge into easier bite-size tasks. I’ve learnt from their guidance; most importantly that something that seems quite daunting at first can in fact be approachable and achievable with the right mindset, hard-work, manageable goals and encouragement.

On Wednesday we went to Saint Andrews University and I performed in the masterclass along with fellow young artists from the workshop and three artists from Byre Opera who were performing that evening in a production of Gluck’s “Iphigenie In Taurus”. It was brilliant to observe singers in action as I could see elements of the advice I’d been given during sessions, such as whether I believed the acting and the decisions behind the intentions and whether this aided the progression of the story.


I believe I have learnt a great deal from this course, and I hope it can turn into an annual event in which singers can gain experience of performance and improve their craft.

Just to conclude, as its Father’s Day I would love to send some kisses and cuddles to my Dad, and thank him for his unwavering support and guidance as I go on this journey to explore classical singing. He is my rock and similar to the advice Judith gave me in one of my singing lessons he always told me to be courageous, and to act on something even if you have little element of fear.


Happy Sunday! XX. Here comes the summer 🙂 🙂 🙂

58 thoughts on “Here Comes Summer

  1. Happy Summer to you Charlotte. What a wonderful experience it has been following your year. Happy Father’s Day to your rightfully proud Dad!

  2. Here it is midwinter, but we are still having sunny days like today, with temperatures in the early 20c’s, where it should be rainy, cold and very windy.
    The course sounds wonderful, have been to Kirkcaldy, with my publisher Dionysia Zervanu (also known under her married name Denise Smith, who is also a poet and Dramatist) and Scottish poet Thom Nairn, we went on a cold wet even to visit his mother in the town. Have a great summer, best wishes and blessings, Charles.

      1. Enjoy the warm weather and the sun, hope you get some interesting jobs to get the money to enjoy the rest of the holiday. Have a good rest, best wishes and blessings, Charles. 🙂

      2. Hi Charlotte just a thought about singing in Italian, a lot of singers from South Africa fit easily into singing German and English text, but struggle in French and Italian. Many of them have coaches in those languages. They all tell me that the voice is slightly differently situated in all the different languages. Pretty Yenda, who has made her much publicized first performance at the Met, singing in Italian, which is a 6th language for her, actually went to Milan, and studied at La Scala, so that she got plenty of practice both singing and talking Italian, as this is the major Opera language. So maybe it would advantageous to find
        summer schools, or travel in Italy during your holiday, trying to use the language as much as possible. Italy is a wonderful place to tour, have enjoyed holidays there. I hope this is helpful, best wishes and blessings, Charles.

      3. Thanks Charles, I auditioned and gained place on a five week summer school, very excited now. Thanks for your good advice I appreciate it.
        Best wishes

      4. Enjoy it, both the summer school, the travel and the warming sun. Hope it will be a very good experience for you. Try and get some rest, some walking and imbibing the sites, sounds and smells. It is my thought that you don’t know a new town until you have got lost at least once! Enjoy, best wishes and blessings, Charles.

  3. Happy Father’s Day to your most handsome poppa and may this be the best summer of your life thus far! Cheers.

    1. Aww he’ll love your comment when he reads it 🙂 Lots of training ahead, and a lovely fortnight’s family holiday in the middle of the break.
      Best wishes

  4. A great week ! very interesting , a nice share, than you Charlotte ! And you have a fabulous Dad and you are a fabulous daughter ! All the best for you! wish you a wonderfull, summer ! 🙂

    1. One more year undergraduate on my Bachelor of Music Hons course, then this September I need to apply for a place on a Masters course which is two years, then if my plans come to fruition another two years at Opera School.
      Best wishes

    1. Thanks Linda, I ordered him a lovely card with special Saturday delivery with photos on it and was furious when it hadn’t arrived, only to discover I’d selected the wrong Saturday for delivery! He laughed and said he’d celebrate twice.
      Best wishes

  5. Happy summer to you, too, Charlotte! And congratulations on finishing out your third year–my, time at school goes quickly, doesn’t it? Have you got any special plans for the summer? I’m hoping to attend the G&S festival in Harrogate in August, and also to visit my friend in Bergen! Hope you’re planning on having just as much fun!

    Best regards,


    1. You’ll love Bergen Cate, yes I’ve lots of training planned and a couple of weeks family holiday that I’m very excited about as we’re celebrating my Mum’s birthday and my brothers birthday whilst we’re away. I hope you have a lovely summer too.
      Best wishes

    1. Thanks Marcus, helping out at work, lots of training and a lovely holiday in the middle to look forward to. Hope your next book is going well.
      Best wishes

  6. Happy Father’s Day, to your wonderful Dad, Charlotte, for he has molded you into a remarkable daughter. How blessed it is to have a Dad, and one to encourage us alone the way. We have a Heavenly Father, by which we cry out Abba Father, which is the Aramaic word for Daddy. This is a term of tender love and kindness, and that is how we thank God for being there for us through all of the ups, and downs of life. May the Lord continue to bless you richly my beloved, and have a wonderful Summer.

  7. Have a lovely summer break Charlotte! The summer school sounded like hard work but I’m pleased you found it rewarding and enjoyable. I too hope this becomes an annual event. I remember the fun I used to have on music summer schools!

    1. I’ve got some courses and classes to look forward to over the summer and lots planned Clare, with an exciting holiday with Mum, Dad and my two brothers to look forward to, so I’m very excited. I hope you and your family have a lovely summer too.
      Best wishes

  8. Lovely to see you with your father, treasure him because not all of have such wonderful figures in our lives. And great to see how you’re going. Been missing in action a bit, had a fall and then a fortnight ago we lost our young dog, complete mystery, just upped and died suddenly. But now I’m back in action (no more falls, ha-ha), so take care. Have a great summer. From 33C in North Cyprus!

    1. I do treasure him you are so right. Sorry to hear about your troubles, it must be so difficult to lose a pet so unexpectedly my heart goes out to you. Boy that sounds hot!
      Best wishes

  9. This is of great interest to me. For some years we lived on the other side of the wall from the Adam Smith Centre, though I haven’t been there for many years.

    And thank you very much for the Tweet!

  10. Much admiration goes to your father for giving you the courage and stamina for the work you do. Have a great summer. Do you have another year? It is such a long hall singing classical music.

    1. He left a safe job to set up his own business so he’s a bit of a risk taker and has lots of courage so I have great role models. Yes I have another year undergraduate, I have auditions this year for Masters courses starting in 2016 for a further two years if I get a place and then auditions for opera courses for a further two years if things go to plan.

      I’ve just finished work for the day because I’ve got an early start for our final rehearsals tonight 6:30 to 10pm. Just waiting for my dinner to finish cooking 😀. I’ll get a lie in tomorrow though ☺️
      Best wishes

  11. Winter here – cold, damp and sometimes miserable and down to 1 degree some days, but your Summer post added light and warmth to the day. Father’s Day is not until September in South Australia.

    1. 😒 we’re having a heatwave at the moment and we’re not used to it, so we’re melting 😅 ☀️ I’m just updating my pictures on Facebook to summery ones.

  12. The year really has zoomed by, hasn’t it? Glad it’s been a good one for you. Love that you got to have some one-on-one coaching; it really helps a lot, whether you’re singing or riding a horse. 🙂 Enjoy your summer!

  13. I’ve never been interested in opera simply because I can never understand the language of the singers. But it has always intrigued me despite my adversion. I wonder if there are some Italian operas for “beginners” that might spark an interest in opera.

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