Midterm Break

October 30, 2016 — 68 Comments


As British Summer time draws to a close here in London and the prospect of darker evenings and shorter days looms closer I have some good news that I would like to share with you, I was selected as one of several students from the Royal College of Music to audition for the prestigious “Josephine Baker Trust”.  For the audition, I had to select three pieces of contrasting repertoire, an aria, an oratorio, and a Lied.  Each year they audition prospective candidates from both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in order to produce a list of singers which they can then promote to venues and organisations around the Capital.  These performance opportunities help the students on the list obtain much-needed funding towards their education in a very proactive way.   So I was thrilled to hear that I had been selected and will become one of the singers on the “Josephine Baker Trust List”.


My “Haugtussa” CDs have finally arrived from the manufacturers. I have had several people ask me over the last few weeks when they would be available to purchase as they prefer to listen to a CD. So if anyone is interested in ordering one here is the link to my shop page 🙂



I had a great start to the week  as there was a student evening on Monday at the Royal Opera House, so I went to watch a performance of Shostakovich’s opera “The Nose”  It was a piece that I was not familiar with so the opportunity to go along and watch was too good to pass up.
The Royal Opera House provided a little background about the opera which can be seen below:

“Shostakovich was only 20 when he began writing The Nose, his operatic debut. He turned to a tiny short story by Gogol: an absurdist satire, where a civil servant’s errant nose launches its owner on a ludicrous battle against both nose and the authorities, as bureaucratic processes break down in the face of so unusual a problem. Gogol’s surrealist fable fired Shostakovich’s imagination, and he responded with a work of exuberant energy, full of musical jokes and grotesque parody – from the famed Act I entr’acte for percussion ensemble to plaintive laments, careening counterpoint, folksong (accompanied by balalaika) and rambunctious polkas.

Shostakovich finished the work in about a year, and in the following months gave successful performances of extracts from the opera. But it was to be another two years, in 1930, before The Nose was staged in full, by which time Soviet cultural climate had turned sternly against works of such perceived frivolity. The opera was quickly dropped from the repertory; but since its rediscovery in the 1960s it has steadily gained recognition for Shostakovich’s baffling, brilliant wit. This new production is The Royal Opera’s first. Artistic Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper Barrie Kosky directs, fresh from his triumphant production of Saul for Glyndebourne Festival.”


The story was very surreal and for once I was glad of the excellent translation provided by David Pountney, as this production was performed in English. The enthusiasm and energy brought to the production by the cast who were fully invested in their characters brought the bizarre story to life.


68 responses to Midterm Break


    much success I wish you…


    Congratulations for being selected as one of the singers on the “Josephine Baker Trust List. I like a lot of Shostakovitch’s work. I’ve heard of “The Nose” but have never heard or seen it. I’m sure it was great! Good luck with the CD. Oh, and I’m glad I’m not the only one to post a selfie in a turtleneck this week….


      Thank you Trent, I am very excited to be one of their artists this year. The Nose was brilliant and fantastically bizarre! They even had an ensemble of tap dancing noses! Turtle necks are quite wonderful at this time of year.
      Best wishes


    Congratulations for all !! Very happy for you ! and thanks for details about the Nez !

    Nice news, all the best for you !!


    Good grief, midterm already?! You students have it too bloody easy, in my day yer had yer nose t’grindstone from dusk to dawn (cue up Monty Python Four Yorkshireman sketch for rest of post…)


    Congratulations you deserve it you work very hard for it xx


    Congratulations on the selection! Judging by your never-ending list of invitations and performances, though, I’m not sure you can do with any more promotion unless you give up bad time-wasting habits like eating and sleeping!


    Josephine Baker did some good recordings of Mahler Lieders. Congrats on your new album!


    Congratulations Charlotte! So wonderful to see you trying out for all these opportunities.




    Congratulations on being accepted, Charlotte. The Nose looks like quite a creative opera.


    Congratulations on the Josephine Baker Singer List selection. You must be thrilled. Thanks for sharing.


    Congratulations on being selected to be on the Josephine Baker Singer List. Look forward to hearing about the venues in which you perform.


      Hello 🙋🏼, It is exciting to think about what opportunities could be in the future. I will definitely share the experiences with you when they occur. Thank you for your kind wishes. 
      Best Wishes, 


    I really like the motion graphics in the video introduction. There’s a nose running around! We did discuss telling stories through poetry in your last post. I wrote two poems this weekend, which my Editor approved. I hope to share them with you soon.


      Hello Eric, 
      It is a fabulous production, and the video is great fun! They were tap dancing too in the production whilst was very exciting and funny. 
      Congratulations! How exciting about your poems, I look forward to reading them soon. 
      Best Wishes, 


    Congratulations, Charlotte! How exciting and quite a thrill to be recognized like this. I am so happy for you and proud of you! Your parents must be too! Have a wonderful time performing. Look forward to your posts for updates on what you will be doing next! Blessings & hugs 😘


    Congratulations to you! I wish you much success and enjoyment!


    Congratulations, it sounds like quite an honor.


    Congratulations. That is awesome news. As to the Shostakovich work, Shostakovich, like Boris Pasternak and others under the Soviet Stalinist regime, found himself in a life and death struggle. It is amazing, and to his great credit as an artist, that he produced some of the greatest Russian music in the twentieth century.


      Thank you Don! Thank you for your comment, it is wonderful that people can create art under such circumstances. I need to do more research into this period of history and how it affected their work. You have sparked my curiosity! 
      Best Wishes, 


    Brilliant news Charlotte, congratulations. Keep up the good work! Xx


      Hi Gill, Thank you very much! It is a very exciting time for me at the moment. I’m enjoying the challenges of my masters and the experience of music making and living in London. I hope you are well. 
      Best Wishes, 


    This is wonderful news, Charlotte. May it bring you many (but not more than you can manage) paying engagements to sing. By the end of 2017 we should have managed to attend at least one of them! Let us where you will be and we will try to be there. I’ve never seen The Nose, so I envy you that.


      Hello Hilary, 
      Thank you for you felicitations! You are quite right about keeping the work at a manageable rate. I will definitely let you know about my London based projects!
      It was rather wonderful, and in the questionnaire they were asking if it would be revived so you never know! 😊
      Best Wishes, 


    Ooo Charlotte, congrats … I think I should set myself on repeat at this point!! Best of luck with the audition and as always, enjoy.


    well done Charlotte!


    So much to be excited about! AND your CD is available… Many heart smiles here. <3


      Hello Annette, 
      Thank you so much for your continuing support, it means the world to me. And reminds me to keep trying and to stay positive. 
      Returning many smiles and hearts from here too! 
      Best Wishes, 


    They are wise and fortunate to have you on their list. Congrats and enjoy living your dreams.


    Congrats, Charlotte! All best wishes for the audition!


    Congratulations Charlotte! How really special is that!!! Thinking of you, Darlene


    Congratulations for being selected for the Josephine Baker Trust list! Just the kind of help you need! The Nose sounded like a fun performance – I love the trailer.
    Best wishes,
    Clare xx


      Hello Clare, 
      Definitely! Training to be an opera singer takes a lot of dedication, time and funding. So it is very helpful to receive this opportunity.

      It was very lively and entertaining! 
      Best Wishes, 


    Well done on being chosen for the Josephine Baker Trust, and hope that will go well. I know and like this opera by Shostakovitch, as i have a recording. Have been to Royal Opera House many times, and love it there, have also been to many operas, at English Opera just above Trafalgar Square. Will look into buying your CD, it is a work aI have never heard, but I love Lieder. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.


      Hello Charles, 
      Thank you for your lovely comments. It was a brilliant opera and the Royal Opera House created a world that was just spectacular. How fabulous you have been able to enjoy those experiences. Thank you, I hope you enjoy it if you decide to buy it. I think the cycle is beautiful and it has a special place for me in my heart. 
      Best Wishes, 


    Congratulations, Charlotte!


    Many congratulations on your achievement.


    Congratulations, Charlotte. Do you know when the auditions will take place?

    I hope that your time in London will give you some very moving experiences, that you can daww upon and bring into the presentation of you music.


      Thank you Terry, there are a range of auditions between now and the end of the year, some like this one I am successful, many others I’m not but they are all a great experience, and thank you for such a lovely wish! I hope so too, it is a very inspiring place to be and there is a lot of art, music and great food! To take advantage of. I hope to soak up the experience like a sponge. 
      Best Wishes, 


    Many, many congratulations Charlotte!

    I will be buying that CD soon!



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