Weber In London – My First Concert With The RCM Classical Orchestra

Goodness gracious, I feel like I have just been flying today. I participated in my first solo concert today with a classical orchestra. The concert was part of the Weber in London concert series taking place at Royal College of Music, London.

As an ensemble, we performed “La Dolce Speranza” by Weber alongside the wonderful conductor Ben Palmer. It was great to work with the orchestra and Ben.

In order to prepare for the first rehearsal with the RCM classic orchestra, I received some coaching from repetitors to prepare the music. It was so helpful to work on the aria with the amazing staff at the RCM, as I could find very little information about this aria and no one had recorded it before so I needed to explore the aria from scratch. It taught me many new skills that I can’t wait to transfer to other concert arias that I want to add to my repertoire. Initially, I had to prepare the piece to different tempos as I wasn’t sure how fast it would be taken by the conductor.


During The Rehearsal ( Picture Taken From RCM Twitter )

In the first rehearsal on Thursday 9th Feb, I was quite nervous but the overwhelming kindness from the orchestra enabled me to be both brave and excited. Ben Palmer recommended that I sang facing the orchestra for the first rehearsal so I could take in all their sound and sing into the depth of beautiful music they create. The rehearsal for my solo took place in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall and lasted about an hour. It was during this rehearsal that I finally got a sense of the faster tempo and I felt the performance starting to come together.


The next day we then had a shorter rehearsal of 20 minutes and we ran through the piece twice at the tempo which we would take for the concert. I had to put in a little extra homework to get the coloratura runs to the desired tempo but it was rewarding when I was able to keep up with the speed Ben took.


Today we had a run through in the morning and then I had to change outfit, do my hair and makeup and prepare myself for the performance. I had such fun, I wish I was doing it all over again this evening. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to work with the orchestra again in the future.

To finish I just want to say a big thank you to the RCM for the opportunity and for the generosity and awesome playing from the orchestra beautifully led by the wonderful Ben Palmer.

The area around the RCM had restricted access due to the BAFTAS which were being held this evening across the road at the Albert Hall so I want to also pass on my gratitude and thanks to everyone who took the trouble to come along this afternoon and watch our performances as it made the day extra special. It was also nice to meet new friends after the performance and catch up with my friends from College who had come along to support me.


Tonight’s BAFTAs As Seen From The RCM ( Picture Taken By Carola Krebs )


59 thoughts on “Weber In London – My First Concert With The RCM Classical Orchestra

  1. Great ! Bravo , you seem to be like “un poisson dans l’eau ” (like a fish in water) in your London life ! I really wery happy and proud of You ! take care and all the very best for You !

  2. Encore!! It was great the orchestra remembered what it was like and eased your mind. Mr. Palmer knew just how to direct you. You have a beautiful career ahead of you, Charlotte, ENJOY!

    1. Thank you so much GP I’ve had lovely feedback from people there watching. I’ve been really working hard on technique with the lovely Rosa Mannion and many wonderful coaches down here, it’s nice to perform again and practice what I’ve learnt.
      Best wishes

  3. What a wonderful opportunity for you! I am happy the hear and am excited along this event. I think it would even be very fun just to watch the rehearsal. I am sure that is closed for public.

    1. Sometimes people do watch certain rehearsals. I went along to watch a rehearsal of The Pirates of Penzance at the English National Opera it was brilliant. I was thrilled to be asked to do it, such good fun.
      Best wishes

  4. I am so glad you enjoyed your concert! It is a magical feeling when everything goes well and the orchestra and soloist come together. I often felt when I used to perform, that the music, the performers and the performance had merged into one and had a life of its own.
    Your dress is gorgeous and you look wonderful in it!

    1. Thank you Clare that is so true it would be nice to freeze time in those moments to enjoy them a bit longer. The dress is new for this season’s concerts a first outing, glad you liked it.
      Best wishes

  5. Congratulations on your performance. You look happy and so lovely in that gown! Best wishes for more rewarding performances in the future. The outside of the venue is beautiful! Hugs ❤️

  6. That must have been so exciting, as well as difficult, working on an aria that had never been recorded. Who knows, perhaps you will be the first-ever person to record it someday! Wish I could have heard it. And love the dress! As I was scrolling down, I was thinking, “Mm, simple black . . . very elegant”–and then that sparkling dash of crimson at the bottom took me completely by surprise. You really have such excellent taste!

    Best regards,


    1. Thank you Cate, I’m not very good with black clothes I tend not to own many but I loved the cheeky bit of Crimson at the bottom it has a very elegant bow at the back too.
      Best wishes

  7. Not sure why, but it sounded oddly daunting to face the orchestra to sing. Strange, when clearly there’s going to be a bigger audience in the other direction! I do think you’re very brave – it must take a special something in the genes to be a performer.

    1. I absolutely loved singing with the orchestra I can’t tell you what a massive buzz it is to stand in front and hopefully do justice to their beautiful playing. I love standing in front of an audience that moment before I begin to sing is just a magic rush of energy to control.
      Best wishes

  8. Well done, indeed! You go from achievement to achievement.
    What a thought it is to have, instead of a faithful accompanist sitting at a piano, an entire orchestra of conductor plus multiple musicians, all serving you — as it were. I imagine that if you let such ideas cross your mind it is both exciting and intimidating!

    1. Thank you Hilary finally rid of my cold I was in much better voice so I’m sorry you didn’t hear too. I had a blog friend there to watch for the first time and met him after the event so that was brilliant that I’ve been supported at my first three events here. I’m pleased you like my new dress.
      Best wishes

  9. Hi Charlotte,
    It seems that you’ve fully adjusted to the faster pace of London. I’m not very familiar with the BAFTAs, but it looks like a great venue they chose to hold the event this year. Honestly, I don’t think I could remember all of the song titles and composers you have over the years. It’s challenging enough to pronounce their names correctly. Not to mention learning the lyrics and singing in different languages. I will continue to simply enjoy the music and let the professionals do what you do.

    1. Hi Eric, it’s certainly a lot to take in and the level at Masters is so high to achieve. I hope that you can start to hear the progress when I next get the opportunity to record some more music.
      Best wishes

  10. First off, what an honour! Second, I love your hair styled that way. It is amazing how performers must go on even when feeling unwell. I do think rehearsals are a wonderful way to attend performances without all the folderol attendant on concert-going. I go for the music, not the stories (I know, anathema, but I grew up with opera singing in my family and it is the voices and music that I care about most). I hope to hear you perform live some day. Bravissima, Charlotte!

    1. A few weeks ago I questioned whether I should go ahead and sing but I would let too many people down so I tried all sorts to keep going, one day I’ll write a book about some of the remedies I tried it was very funny. I hope that you get to hear me perform live some day too.
      Best wishes,

  11. Congrats Charlotte! What a precious experience! You are all dressed for the red carpet at BAFTA too. BTW, just want to share with you… I attended a Mahler 2nd “Resurrection” Symphony and it was awesome. Two soloists with five choirs at the back and a huge orchestra. While listening to them, I thought of you. 🙂

    1. Thanks Arti, security is so high at these events or I might have been tempted just to take a selfie with this beautiful walkway behind. Five choirs and a huge orchestra must have been spectacular it must have been amazing for those soloists, so happy you thought of me 🙂

      Best wishes,

  12. If you are ever coming to Toronto, and need an Art Gown (my blog) I will make you an Art Gown. I need lead time of 3 -4 months. Besides that you are a beauty to dress, I would like to hear you perform!
    I have 2 Art Gowns currently available in size 6.
    OR contact me at the email attached to this comment in your comments section.

    1. Resa if I’m ever in Toronto I will definitely take you up on your offer of a loan art gown they are fabulous. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I’m a UK size 8-10 (10 if it’s very fitted on the hips) 😜.

      Lovely to meet you through my friend Aquileana 💕that was a great collaboration you both did.

      My best wishes

      1. Thank you!
        It would be wonderful! The COC should have you as a guest!
        Good news! A UK 10 is a US 6
        We are in the zone!
        Best wishes to you!!!

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