Opera Scenes At The RCM

I have had another exciting Friday this week, with my second round of opera scenes. This week I had the challenge to play a flirty Zerlina in Don Giovanni, which was quite different to last week’s Flora.

It was a challenging scene for me as my wonderful director Elaine Kidd pushed my partner Christian Adolph and me to be truly in the moment and acting as if for the camera. We had to constantly have sub-textual thoughts, be accurate with the music and listen constantly to the other in order to keep the text alive and spontaneous. I also had to experiment with intimacy on stage which pushed my boundaries as an actress. Previously I had played Zerlina as a sweet and innocent country girl whereas on this occasion I was asked to think of her as a cheeky social climber.

Me, Elaine Kidd our Director and Christian Adolph

It made me realise how flexible an artist needs to be with their interpretation of a character and how they can be molded around period/situation and insight. In the rehearsal process, we did a lot of improvisation, and I enjoyed the challenge of having to re-create the character and seeing how she might react in different mindsets.

I really enjoyed the process and will continue to approach my acting in this style and use the experience to enrich my future performances. I also learned some great tips for checking in with the conductor for tempo changes and entrances of melodies from the fabulous Natalie Murray – which will certainly make my life easier and enable me to be more flexible on stage.

However, having enjoyed this experience twice in a short space of time, it has made me once again so thankful for all the help of the wonderful backstage team! Without them I certainly would not have got my dress on, hair done, be visible on stage or met my queues to be prepared for the stage. They are all wonderful, and I’m so grateful for all their help.

Chris, Me, Laura and Ellen

Performing alongside such a fabulous group of singers here at the RCM has been such a rewarding opportunity for me. We all had such a great time and I have to say a special thank you to both Ben Smith, as my “Masetto” and Christian Adolph, as “Don Giovanni” who made both the rehearsals and the final performance so much fun.

The Whole Cast

Some pictures taken by Ben Durrant during the rehearsals.

Some pictures taken by Juliette Lozano

It was such a pleasure to see Hilary in the audience and meeting Cate and her sister Alexandra after the show. I kicked myself for not asking my parents to take a picture of us for my blog.  It was such a boost to see their friendly supportive faces in the audience after years of communicating here on my blog.  Thank you 🙂

Next week I will be singing again but this time as part of a celebration of the music of Carl Maria von Weber at the RCM on Sunday 12th February at 2:30 pm. You can buy tickets for the concert at the RCM website.


37 thoughts on “Opera Scenes At The RCM

  1. It was wonderful, Charlotte, and as I said in my email, the all round standard of singing and acting was astonishingly high (and we have seen hundreds and hundreds of performances of good and bad operas!). You were utterly delightful as Zerlina, full of wedding fizz and torn between an unexciting and familiar present and an offer beyond your wildest dreams. Your confusion was wonderful to watch and your singing sweetly lyrical all through.

    1. Thanks so much for coming to watch Hilary I really am grateful for all your support and encouragement. Thanks for your lovely feedback I’m really getting the opportunity to experiment here.
      Best wishes

    1. Yes Trent it’s important I do and make mistakes whilst I’m still in a secure helpful environment, I thinks that’s giving me more courage to go for it.
      Best wishes

  2. Nice set of pictures of yours and the casts. I think it is great you can perform and sing too. I am not sure I see it right. Were you dancing in one of the picture?

    1. I didn’t dance in this scene but I have taken up my Ballet and Jazz dancing classes down here and I’ve just got my Mum to send down my tap shoes with my brother. I just need somewhere with good practice floors to practice again 😀💃🏼. My two brothers were both in the same ballroom dance competition this weekend neither of them knew the other was going until a couple of days before, Tom did really well in Ballroom and Matt came second overall in rock and roll with his old University partner Claire 👏🏻.
      Best wishes

      1. How interesting that both your brothers compete in ballroom–and how encouraging to know that there are a few other young men in the world besides my own brother who like to dance! Allie’s interested in ballroom dancing–how does one get into doing the competitions? And please give my congratulations to Matt and Claire!

        Best regards,


      2. Cate check out dancesport.com and I used to train with an IDTA teacher who prepared us for medals and competition. The Universities often have Dancesport teams too. Hope that helps 🙋🏼

      1. Charlotte, Sunday’s are like that!
        Your life is so excitingly eventful.
        It is such a pleasure to read all about your progress too.
        I know that your family is so proud of your accomplishments.
        So are we, your readers. Thanks so much for sharing, Darlene

  3. Lovely photos of you and the group. Looks like a wonderful show and everyone enjoyed themselves. You are getting some valuable experience too. Congrats! Hugs xx

  4. So glad it all went so well again on Friday and to have your parents with you again as well as blog friends must have been so nice! I love Weber’s lyrical music – I would love to be there to hear it but unfortunately I can’t!

    1. Thanks Marie, I’ve always wondered if the first spaceships to Mars will take a few creatives on board to remind everyone life’s for enjoying or if there would just be essential medics and scientists. Actually I know a few mathematicians and medics who can sing and play instruments too 👍🏻.
      Best wishes

  5. It was wonderful to finally get to see you perform live and meet you and your lovely parents in person on Friday. I was really amazed at the musical connections you and your “Don Giovanni” made in the duet–it sounded like a genuine conversation and not just a song, but somehow that made the musicality of it all that much better! My favourite part was when you were in the one “room” putting your coat on while he was waiting, looking boredly assured (you both made your characters’ personalities really come to life), in the other, and both of you were still singing to each other just as though you were right next to one another! The whole performance was so impressive–it must be so exciting to get to work with such creative directors and fellow performers!

    I wished afterwards we had thought to take a photo, too–oh, well, next time. Keep singing and good luck for the next performance!

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Cate it was so lovely to meet you and Ali after the performance, thank you so much for coming and for your encouragement and support. It was great to meet you in person after all this time 😊.
      All my best wishes

  6. It is good to see that you are being given challenging situations to face, that I hoped you might be the case, since you moved down to London. I am sure that these experiences will also enhance your solo performances.

    By the way, Charlotte, great images; you score well on the elegance scale.

    1. It’s great to be challenged Terry although I did gulp at the opening of the scene the costume lady was very kind to me 😀. So grateful my friends took photographs you don’t always get them and they’re nice to keep and share. Thank you,
      All my best wishes

    1. Aww thanks so much, I got great tips from the stylist of how to put my hair up which I utilised again today, I just need to be able to speed the process up a bit 😊.
      Best wishes

  7. I think audiences forget that the performer not only has to have a great voice but also has to ACT! You are learning your craft well, and the pictures are great. Hope to see and hear you sometime!

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