Charlotte Hoather Blog Five Year Blogging Anniversary

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This weekend has been a key milestone for me in more ways than one, firstly it is the fifth anniversary of my first steps into the world of blogging, secondly it has seen the culmination of many months work as I try to finalise the PowerPoint presentation for my lecture recital on Thursday 8th May for my academic module entitled ‘Women In Music’.

When I selected the module at the beginning of the year, I had no idea how it would affect me, the deeper I researched, the more it drew me in. We were asked to prepare a 20 to 25 minute lecture recital on a female composer. Initially, I thought that this would be quite straightforward but after several months of reading, research and mentoring sessions it has proven to be more difficult than I expected.  Not because I can’t fill the time, on the contrary, I have ended up with such a weight of research and information that I am finding it hard to cut it down to just 25 minutes in total !!

But cut it down I must, so I have been burning the midnight oil, wrestling with myself as to what information should be removed and what should remain.  It is such a difficult and time-consuming process, as I find myself both arguing for and against each small section that I try to isolate and remove from the presentation.

At one point after reading through my work and decided that to try and preserve as much of my work as possible that I will perhaps post the initial un précised presentation as a blog post after I have completed my lecture recital.  It may be a little longer than my usual posts, and I need to figure out how to record attach the spoken word to the PowerPoint presentation but I do hope that some of you find it as interesting to read as I did researching it.

One of the key points that I have taken away from my research is the importance of encouragement and positive reinforcement to the success of an individual’s creative endeavours. This is especially so if the creative arena in which you wish to forge a career for yourself has few gender or racial precedents for you to emulate or against whom you can measure your progress.  Over the years on my blog many of you have contributed so much to my progress, encouraging me just when I need it, being supportive of my choices in an uncertain world, and most important of all just being there as a constant for me as I face every new challenge.  I know that many of you have had your own creative struggles and by being there with you, sharing your experiences, as you individually overcame the obstacles you faced has been truly inspirational.

Thank you background with confetti.

Part of this module included selecting and working closely with mentors, individuals who gave me their time, advice and the benefit of their experience and I would like to thank them:

My singing teacher and friend Rosa Mannion for consistently reinforcing the sound foundations, technical necessities, and good vocal health needed to sing at the highest levels.

Rosa and Me
Rosa Mannion and Me

Dr Natasha Loges and Diana Roberts for providing the lectures which guided my research for this module at the Royal College of Music. I would whole heartedly recommend it to any future students when they come to choose their options.  Both Natasha and Diana have provided the necessary support needed for a module like this to succeed, and I can’t thank them enough.

Judith Howarth for her frankness and honesty during our sessions, and for her invaluable insight into the operatic world, advice which I will carry with me as I try to build my career in the years to come.

Judith Howarth 02
Judith Howarth

The composer Lisa Illean who has been so patient with me, providing feedback and guidance on the format and timing of my lecture recital, giving up her own time to talk me through the difficult process of how to decide what to keep and what to cut ( which I am still working on ).

Leanne Singh-Levett for coming to my rescue and stepping in at the eleventh hour to accompany me during my lecture recital, it has been fantastic to work closely with her even if it has been for such a brief time.

Simon Lepper for his skilled accompaniment and creative input during our coaching sessions, and for his patience and understanding as I had to change my repertoire just weeks before my recital lecture due to circumstances beyond my control.

A special thank you to all my friends that I have picked the brains of while preparing my reseach.


Just before I finish I want to wish the best of luck to all my fellow students presenting their recital lectures this Thursday; Eloise MacDonald, Lisa Burgess, Katy Thomson, and Esme Hurlburt.

Overall this has been both a difficult yet rewarding experience, one that has made me think differently about the challenges that I will face in the future. It has hardened my resolve to push on with my ambition to make a career for myself as an Opera Singer, to work more effectively to achieve my goals, to be thankful to my professional coaches and teachers, and to recognise that if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well.

By way of a thank you I will be putting all the names of everyone who comments or adds a like to this post here on my blog into a hat and I will pick out three names at random.  I would then like to send signed copies of my Haugtussa album to those selected along with a personal message of thanks.

96 thoughts on “Charlotte Hoather Blog Five Year Blogging Anniversary

  1. Charlotte, it has been a delight to follow your progress, and if I’ve contributed in even the smallest fraction to your deserved confidence about yourself, then I shall feel very proud. I never wish you luck: I know that your talent means you don’t need it.

  2. It sounds like your project is so worthwhile. What a wonderful assortment of helpers and resources you have found! Best wishes with it. The subject of women in music is enormous and overdue to be treated with the full respect that it deserves.

    1. I’ve learnt so much from the experience. I read how women in the past negotiated obstacles and kept their careers on track all very interesting.
      Best wishes

      1. There have been so many difficulties and yet so many ways around them. I just read recently about the wife of the engineer for the Brooklyn Bridge overseeing its construction unofficially while he was deathly ill, and how it could not have been made without her, and yet very few know about it. They have a new section in the NY Times obituaries for forgotten people, and they take suggestions for noteworthy people who did not receive notice even decades ago, Perhaps if you find excellent women of note you can submit their stories to the NY Times and they may well write obituaries about them.

  3. Well done Charlotte. It’s such a pleasure to follow your blog and progress in your career. I started my blog in 2012 which is a bit scary. I thought I’d run out of things to say after a few weeks! Maybe I have and everyone is just being polite 🙂

    1. Thank you Stephen. When you blog for yourself and your own online diary of thoughts and experiences then that’s all that matters 😊🙋🏼 any more is just a plus 👍🏻 Keep on blogging.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Maria, the last few weeks have been the most intense ever with four new songs to prepare to a deadline. I can breathe again now 😀.
      Best wishes my friend,

  4. Hi Charlotte! Happy Anniversary! Always enjoy your posts and your musical adventures. Looking forward to another 5 years…

    1. Thank you John, so many teachers, coaches, language specialists have invested their time in me it really should be a much bigger list. I appreciate everyone at College from Maxine on reception with her friendly greetings and chat to Anne, Naomi and Sophia who run the time schedules, Admin and keep us all organised.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte 🙋🏼😊

  5. Brava to you, dear Charlotte! What a shining example you are to me (and countless others). Thank you for sharing from your heart and reminding us that dreams are important and worth taking chances for. Wishing you much continued success.

  6. First: Congratulations on the anniversary! Your blog is a great asset to all of us who care about music and who have come to care about you as well.
    Second: Cutting is the essence of all good writing, whether lectures or articles or books. No matter how large the frame, it is necessary to cut the materials to fit. I regularly cut every article I write, and then I cut some more. The best words on this were written by Antoine de St-Exupéry: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.” I used to keep those words framed above my desk.

    1. Thank you Peter, I took your advice but it was such a shame to cut some very interesting slides and information.
      To keep within the 20-25 minute deadline I had to use my notes more than I would normally like to make sure I quoted the sources correctly, I did my best. Now I just need to take all the books back to the Library on Monday 😀.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Trent, I hope I presented an interesting lecture, I certainly learnt a lot from the experience. I haven’t stopped for three weeks so it will be nice to go home for the Mother’s Day weekend. Even though my train was delayed and Dads going to have to come out at midnight to pick me up 😳.
      Best wishes

  7. Happy Anniversary to you! It been a thrill to read your blog and to see how wonderful well things are turning out for you Charlotte. Keep up the great work! You are the BEST!

  8. Happy blogging anniversary! I can’t believe it has been five years, and I have so enjoyed following your progress. You have been very blessed to have the support of so many people and especially the support of your loving family. Best wishes for a very successful lecture recital !

    1. I am blessed indeed. Thank you, I hope you’re well 😊. I did the lecture yesterday then a cut down version with a couple of songs at the Royal Academy of Art this evening. On my way home now on a late train for a weekend break yay.
      Best wishes

  9. Happy five year blog anniversary! I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and I have to say I’ve learned more about music from it than anywhere else. Thank you for having such an interesting blog, here’s to the next five years!

  10. Congratulations, Charlotte, on your 5th year anniversary blogging! May you have many more successful and exciting adventures to blog about! Hugs Xo

    1. So glad to have met you too Karen and your lovely art. Had a wonderful concert this evening at the Royal Academy of Art and blend of music and art. My artist was Sonia Lawson, her painting ‘In the Night Garden’ was a beautiful compliment to my Alma Mahler songs In My Father’s Garden and Mild Summer Night.
      Best wishes

  11. Wow! 5 years, it goes by so fast. You have given me an insight into your world that I look forward to every week. Your blogs are always interesting and I love your pictures. Well done. I would like to wish you every success and I’m sure your lecture will be brilliant because you always put 100% to everything you do. Bravo! 😘

    1. Thank you Gilly I wish you could have seen it. I’m hoping to record it this weekend for my blog (sadly without the singing) fingers crossed. Train was delayed an hour tonight, Mum and Dad are having to come out at Midnight 😳.
      Best wishes

  12. Congratulations – and may I add – I have enjoyed every post with you (at least I believe I got to them all). It has been MY pleasure to watch you learn and improve your craft and also grow as a person.

  13. has it really been five years, Charlotte? I guess it has – we’ve following you through your education, post-grad work, concerts and events and travels with the family – and have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. It’s been a pleasure to see you grow! Here’s to the next five years!

  14. Charlotte
    Cannot believe it’s been 5years since, you started blogging, it’s been so exciting reading about all your adventures, and continued hard work you put into everything.
    Here’s to many more, good luck with your presentation.xx

  15. Congrats, 5 years, must have had many great experiences, and been involved in many interesting conversations. So here’s a toast to the next five years. I hope the recital goes well, and that you can get it down to 25 minutes. It is relatively easy to build up a huge amount of information on a topic, but it is quite an art to present it in an interesting and insightful way, without putting in too much detail. Remember that all the information will live with and in you, so all the information taken out is not wasted, it is part of your growth, and part of your performing persona. Best wishes and blessings, Charles.

    1. Thank you Charles, I managed it but it was a shame to cut it down, so much interesting information on Alma Mahler and Kaija Saariaho and comparing how times have changed. So true I was asked questions about Alma Mahler tonight after my concert and I could easily recall the facts I learnt.
      Best wishes

      1. Great: well done. I’m sure most people did not even know Alma Mahler composed, and probably this was the first performances of her pieces for a long time. You should make a recording of the pieces of both composers that you sang. Best wishes and blessings Charles.

  16. Happy Blog Anniversary, I can’t believe that it has been 5 years already! It seems like just one or two years ago. Following your posts, give me an insight in to opera world and how one goes through studying the art. Best of wishes to you as always.

  17. I will be looking forward very much to your blog post on your ‘lecture recital’ and thinking of you especially on 8 March, International Women’s Day, when I compose my usual bog post linked to this day.

  18. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! I am regularly amazed that despite having an enormous workload you have continued blogging, you respond to all comments on your posts and you even read and comment on our posts too! You are honest and self-effacing and as here, you regularly mention all the people who have helped you on your way. You are indeed a wonder woman! You work so hard and are such a dedicated singer and student. You deserve all that is good in this life and a fabulous career too! I very much look forward to reading your treatise on women in music. Best of luck in getting your lecture recital down to 25 minutes or less!

    1. Blogging got away from me a bit this last three weeks Clare I had so much to memorise. I hope I didn’t cut the wrong bits out of the lecture 😀. I’m on the late train home and got a long delay so it’s given me time to catch up with my blog at least.
      Best wishes

  19. i think that i’ve been with you from your first days. It’s been a pleasure watching you grow, not only as a musician, but as a person.

    Consider having a couple people read your work, who are not directly involved but understand the process. They’ll catch holes and flaws that you may have gotten too close to.

    1. Thanks Ray, a couple of my friends from college sat through it and gave me great feedback and a meal I was most grateful for 😀, the electric got cut to my freezer and I lost my food for the week, so three different friends cooked for me one night each absolutely super of them.
      Best wishes

  20. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary Charlotte, and the best of luck as you precent in your recital lecture! It has been such a privilege getting to know you and chatting with you about your career and travels.

    1. I couldn’t do this on my own, singing in four languages takes lots of intensive coaching, different song styles, stagecraft, and on. I will miss it all I make the most out of every lesson and the fabulous people and colleagues I work with i’ll miss the most.
      Best wishes

  21. Congrats on your blogaversary, Charlotte! I’ve enjoyed your ‘Women in Music’ posts, so informative and lively, happy to see how well you’re doing and enjoying your work and studies.

  22. Congratulations! That is a wonderful accomplishment. We both began our blogs around the same time:)–and your blog has always been a favorite of mine. You are an inspiration. . . . Mike

  23. Fantastic, Charlotte! Congratulations, and you are so gracious & gorgeous by the way you shared it with all of us, and your team. <3

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