As you’ll be aware if you’ve been following my blog for the past three years, my musical passion lies in the Opera world, in July I flew to Italy to participate in the Trentino Music Festival Summer School. When preparing the songs for my audition for this summer school in January, my ambition about such an experience was initially to get more opera performance opportunities and to improve my Italian language skills over the five weeks duration. Whilst in Italy I made friends in all the local shops, bakery and cafes and practised my Italian on my willing victims every day. I attended and performed in master-classes, one by the amazing Deborah Voigt, and undertook the roles of ‘Gretel’ in Hansel and Gretel (under the skilful baton of David Gately), ‘2nd Knabe’ and chorus in Die Zauberflute by Mozart and as ‘The Novice’ and chorus in Suor Angelica by Puccini.
I was guest soloist at a Fyfe Creative Arts Hub Recital the day after I returned from my summer holiday and in October I performed a selection of arias at a gala fundraising evening hosted by the Bowdon Festival Opera, they are raising funds to put the Opera ‘Don Giovanni’ this year and I’ve been offered the role of ‘Zerlina’ which is very exciting.
Last November George Todica and I utilised our Grieg Haugtussa song cycle coaching from our Norwegian master-classes in a one hour long concert in Edinburgh. I sang the full eight song cycle in the first half in the original Norwegian. I have been analysing if songs sound better in the language they were originally written in and one comparison I thought: ‘Does Shakespeare have such a profound effect and impact when translated into other languages?’ Or indeed ‘Would Robert Burns give the depth and feeling if spoken or sung in standard English rather than Scottish dialect, his poem and song ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is often sung at Hogmanay (New Years Eve)?’
At the close of the year I enjoyed participating in the RCS choir at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral undertaking Handel’s Dixit Dominus, I also got to listen to friends performing Spem and Purcell.
And finally singing in the Christmas Cracker with Jessica Hurst at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.