I’m Glad Of The Extra Day This Year

February 28, 2016 — 51 Comments

This week provided me with a great opportunity to meet and interview Derek Clark with my fellow student Maisy Hepburn and a few days later Tom Creed who are both currently involved in the RCS’s production of ‘Two Russian Tales’. It is always fascinating for me to get an insight into the wonderful world that is created by those involved with the production and staging of an opera. This year the RCS are staging an opera double bill consisting of of Stravinsky’s ‘Mavra’ and Walton’s ‘The Bear’. It was wonderful to talk with both the conductor and the director of the two operas and I was grateful to them both for taking the time to chat with us.  I hope that you enjoy listening to them. I missed the opening night last night but I have my tickets and I’m very excited to go and see this next week which runs until the 5th March.

I explored two slightly different ways of finalising my video interviews and I would really appreciate your feedback on this style of presentation for an interview. If you like this style of presentation do you think the interview is better with the audio over the question captions or without ? Are there are any questions that you would have liked me to ask? That way if I get a similar opportunity to do a video interview in the future I can add to the list of questions 🙂



This Saturday 27th Feb. I participated in the preliminary round of the Courtney Kenny Competition held by ‘The Association of English Singers and Speakers’ and I’m very excited to announce that I was selected to perform in the final on the 6th March at Tonbridge School, High Street Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1JP. The final starts at 2:00 pm and If you happen to be in the area it would be lovely to see some smiling faces in the audience for support.


To finish off my lovely week, my dear friend Silvia and I made the most of the sunshine in Glasgow and went on a lovely long walk around Kelvingrove Art Gallery and visited Huntarian Museum in Glasgow University. We finished with some fabulous yummy treats!


The Huntarian Museum – Glasgow

51 responses to I’m Glad Of The Extra Day This Year


    I like your cartoon interview icon! Any credit for theartist?


      If I need a graphic for a project I usually get a license from Depositphotos.com which is where I found this image. They have a great selection to choose from 🙂

      Best wishes

    Douglas Matamoros February 28, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Woof Woof Meow = Enjoy the extra day, BEST REGARDS TO YOU from Douglas Matamoros

    Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device


    Hi Charlotte, Wish that I could have been there. Happy Leap Year!


    Great ! Congrats for the AESS, best vibs for the 6th March. Great work with the interview. I think is better with the audio over the question captions, and you could put tto over title and the thanks at the end. This increases my desire to make decorations for the opera …. The best for you


      The video editing takes a bit more time than I’d expected. For the school edit I kept the cards on the second video plain to look more professional. Good idea with the decorations.

      Best wishes


    I’d like to hear your voice as well. You could be in the video asking the questions. It seems more personal that way. My thoughts for what they’re worth.


    Beautiful, and I will be praying for your performance on the 6th will be a great success. May the Lord continue to bless you, and just continue to put Him first, then He will do the rest for you Charlotte.


    Really enjoyed the interviews! I preferred it with the audio for the questions – because they don’t do much moving or physical demonstration during the interviews it means I can be doing something else and listen as though it’s just an audio interview without missing out so having the audio for the questions means I don’t have to keep switching back to see what’s being asked


    I liked both videos, though, I will say.. reading the questions aloud came across better. The cartoon with the mic is cute. 🙂 I’m wondering if I want you sitting next to the person in the video because I can already hear you grinning off camera. 🙂 So, it might not be bad to have two chairs with dialogue back & forth.

    I noticed your jacket making me wonder if it’s still chilly there. “The Huntarian Museum” looks amazing! I’m bummed. It would be a great spot to photograph. Finally, Congratulations on being selected to sing at Tonbridge. We’re all still rooting for you.


    I think live interview is good. Just like “live’, it is more lively and you can get a feel of interaction or engaging from both interviewer and interviewee. Nice!

    The Huntarian Museum is beautiful !

    Annette Rochelle Aben February 28, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I prefer the second style to the first. Being able to hear the questions being asked gave me the feeling it all flowing together. I would have perhaps tightened up the shots of your subjects, allowed them to fill the screen more. Sometimes where there is so much to look at, it can be distracting. At least this is what I used to tell my students. A good thing about the shot composition, is that by having the space to the right of the men, I was aware they were talking to someone on the other side, good show!


      Thanks Annette, all good pointers, I borrowed a tiny camcorder and little stand and set it up before the interview so I wasn’t sure where they would like to sit. It’s very interesting to see how it came out.

      Best wishes


    I really enjoyed both those interviews and I can’t think of another question you could have posed. I think I prefer the audio over the caption best. I was interested to hear Tom Creed’s comments on Peter Grimes. When I moved to Somerset for 18 months I played Peter Grimes a lot to combat my homesickness (though in fact it didn’t combat it at all; it made it worse!). Britten’s music is so evocative of Aldeburgh I could imagine myself being there.
    Good luck in Tonbridge! I wish I could be there to see you 🙂


    Very nice Charlotte! Cheryl x


    Your Icon is nice but I’ve never seen a picture of you in bangs. The intervies were good and loved the museum photo. Congrats on the finals.


    I noticed the differing presentation/edit for your interviews as well. I prefered your voicing the questions over the guessing about what the question was – plus it never hurts to hear more you. I’m glad you chose to interview the range of duties within a production so as to make the roles come alive…or the production dynamics… that’s in depth as it is more engaging to this lay person of the arts.


      Thank you starman, I’m truly interested in widening my chosen art form to as many people as I can. I enjoy sharing what I discover along the way. I’m happy you enjoyed it.

      Best wishes


    Very interesting stuff – and congratulations on reaching that final! Both interviews are excellent. Personally I slightly prefer the format of the second where one both sees and hears the questions being asked.


    I do enjoy reading your posts, your big, bright grin always brings a smile to my face.


      Hi Mo, I am lucky to be able to study something that I love and that makes me smile 🙂 I am so pleased that you enjoy reading my posts and sharing my experiences.

      Best wishes


    Great news about the competition. We have opera friends in Kent, so I’ll tell tell them, but they may be in Scotland with new grandchild. Best of luck… (haven’t managed to listen to the interviews…, but I’ll keep them in the inbox).


    Congrats re making the final in the competition… Enjoy! Also, re the interview style, I too like it when I can hear both the interviewer and interviewee 🙂

    Victoria Stevens March 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Charlotte! I was looking at some Mavra reviews and the mention of it here came up in relation to the word.. So nice to discover your blog, very interesting. I watched the video interviews and I thought they were good and the ‘personal’ questions were funny/charming as extra tidbits, but it would have been interesting and useful to hear more about the actual operas themselves, from Derek in particular – maybe some questions about the challenges involved in the preparation of difficult 20th century music, advice to singers on how to approach this kind of score that doesn’t have much of a tonal centre and is rhythmically tricky, and the relationship necessary between conductor and singer with this sort of rep.. Also what kind of place he feels the performance of Russian folk-opera has in the western world today, maybe comparisons between this and other operas by Stravinsky and similarly between The Bear and Walton’s other work. In the same way Derek could have given some insight into achieving the singing/acting balance when working with tricky scores that involve lots of stage-life and choreography and are also vocally demanding. But then again, I’m biased because these are things I’ve wondered about myself while in the actual rehearsal process for the project. I also preferred hearing you ask the actual questions. Keep up the interesting posts!


      Thanks for your insight Victoria, if I’m ever lucky enough to perform in one of these operas myself I will remember your advice as the questions you suggest are very interesting. I’m looking forward to going to see the production 😊
      Best wishes

        Victoria Stevens March 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm

        I’m sure you will do lots of it! It’s strange music but there are new, rewarding things to be found in it each time. Hope you enjoy the show (keep an open mind 😜) see you soon!


    Charlotte I loved your interview, it was lovely to listen to you. Just found out your in the English song contest in Tonbridge, congratulations and massive good luck. Wish I were closer so I could come and watch, but I’ll be there in spirit. 😘👏👏👏


      Ah thanks Gill, I’m just enjoying learning some new video editing skills. I just hope we give an enjoyable performance sorry it’s too far away 😊.
      Best wishes


    Very nice interview… and fun and interesting to catch up with Tom Creed.
    Also, congrats on yet another achievement concerning the Courtney Kenny Competition … Best wishes, with much admiration… Aquileana 😀


    Love your music on soundcloud. I am never quite sure where to leave a comment, however. Going back to follow the arrow.


    I very much felt the same this year ~ having this extra day in February seemed to set things just right for me 🙂 I love the interview, and your cartoon image with the questions captioned, and very much enjoy hearing your voice with them.

    It sounds like the extra day of the Leap Year is doing wonders for you as well. Cheers to a great day 🙂


      Thanks Randall I came over to your blog for my monthly catch up and I got the chance to see a couple of your early blogs that I’d missed they are really lovely. I hope you’re not too busy 😀🌸 remember to stop and smell the roses 🌹.
      Best wishes

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