My Week At The Met

May 6, 2018 — 70 Comments

This past week I was introduced to and worked alongside some wonderfully gifted people who made my week at the Metropolitan Opera House extra special, I will always remember their generosity, encouragement, and enthusiasm. Their individual commitment was truly inspiring and I will treasure these memories in the years to come.

The Education team: Marsha, Dan, and Angela were super hosts to the BambinO team and I enjoyed chatting with them and sharing some amazing times. They made us all feel like part of their family, providing us with tickets to the opera, pre-show parties, introduced us to some great Mexican food, and gave recommendations for things to enjoy in the city. One of their key duties as a department is creating the Education Guides for Schools that accompany each of the seasons’ performances put on at the Met. I was thrilled to find out that these guides are available for free online. If you want to learn a little more about a particular opera or use them in the classroom check them out here:

Education Department

There is also an option to check the archives and see opera education packs from previous seasons. They are well worth a read!

During the week we reached our 100th Performance of BambinO and it was great to have everyone there to celebrate it.  It was quite a milestone made extra special by the performance being at the Met !!

 

100th Bambino Show

After Our 100th Performance !!

 

During my time in New York, I explored the city mostly by foot with the occasional trip on the subway. I was invited to go and observe a panel discussion on music and early childhood development, between the creators of Bambino and faculty members from the Rita Gold Early Childhood Centre, Columbia University Teachers College. It was both interesting and exciting that professors were exploring the effect of the work that we were doing. The panel discussion was held in the super swish Norwood Club, a private members club for Artists and Creatives in the heart of New York City. We were lucky enough to meet the owner Alan Linn who warmly welcomed us and encouraged us to enjoy the artwork and the themes to each floor of the building. As we climbed the flights of the stairs on our way to venue space on the top floor, it felt like I was walking through the looking glass in Alice and Wonderland.

Norwood Club

The Norwood Club – New York

One of the greatest perks of working for the Metropolitan Opera House were the invitations to attend the opera performances as their guest.  This made for a wonderful week as I was able to watch three Operas: Roméo & Juliette, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Cendrillon all with supreme casts, telling stories with scintillating singing, in wonderful costumes, portrayed on amazing sets.

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Roméo & Juliette

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Lucia di Lammermoor

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Cendrillon

My favourite was Cendrillon. I loved the outlandish costumes! In particular the red costumes for the female chorus in the ball. This was because each character was given a different style of dress, that was crazily elaborate. One had a bustle like a rooster, another had enormous horns like a maniacal princess and many, many more. James, the head of costume at the Met, told me that the performers were given the stage direction to focus on the fact that they thought they were beautiful – fit for a prince – and that these dresses were the best they had available. Rather than play up to the hilarity of their character’s image. This worked really well from an audience’s point of view. Other elements were punctuated with farce and comedy and the outstanding singing contributed to a wonderful evening. The set design for Cendrillon was particularly thrilling, and it’s magical appearance brought this iconic fairy-tale to life.  Although the performances throughout were stunning I thought that Joyce DiDonato’s interpretation of Cinderella was simply fabulous, her singing was sublime and her stage presence was charming and witty and she had me enticed throughout.

Joyce DiDonato withTeam BambinO

Back Row : Lliam Paterson, Laura Sergeant, and Stuart Semple Front Row: Me, Joyce DiDonato, and Timothy Connor

So, can you imagine my reaction when I discovered that Joyce DiDonato had come to watch a performance of BambinO with her family on Friday afternoon, to see her in the audience was quite surreal.

BambinO Cartoon

I’ve tried to stay awake as much as possible today in London after a night flight to try to readjust to British Time and I’d just like to thank my very best friends for coming to my help and entertaining me all day.

70 responses to My Week At The Met

  1. 

    Brava! Brava!

  2. 

    Sounds like you had quite a busy week! Congrats on the 100th performance of BambinO!
    Love the photos, have a great week Charlotte.

    • 

      Thank you Darlene, happy photos, happy memories. Getting ready today for a full day tomorrow. We’ve had beautiful summer weather here in London for the last couple of days.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    Sounds like you had a blast! So happy for you! x

  4. 

    Congratulations on your centennial performance! It looks as though you have had a really good time at the Met, well done I’m soooo proud of you😘😘

  5. 

    Great! Great! Great! Great super star Charlotte! Bravissima!!! Welcome back & have some pretty nice days of rest!

  6. 

    What a terrific experience! Thank you for sharing I can only imagine the impact this will have on you and your career over time. <3

    • 

      It’s been a great learning experience, I’ve really treasured it. The babies are just fabulous as Phelim the Director said once they’re the only audience where if they really don’t like it they just leave so we all have to work hard to keep their interest for 40 minutes.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    Great that you got such a warm welcome at the Met.

  8. 

    There you are with Joyce. My two favorite opera singers! I told you I met Joyce over lunch in Salzburg. What a nice woman. We followed you at the Met. Bravo!!!

    • 

      I remember you meeting Joyce, to see her in the audience I did a complete double take after watching her fabulous Cendrillon the night before, it’s all been a bit surreal. Thanks for looking out for me Cindy 😊.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    It looks you had a great time in NY. Taking tour by foot and subway are great way to enjoy NY.

    • 

      I made friends in Berlin when we did Carmen who live in New York City and it was great catching up with them, Victoria even got up super early to have breakfast with me a real 👭.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    What a fabulous week and what wonderful grounding for your career. You won’t forget this experience in a hurry.

    • 

      Meeting the Education team at the Met and chatting with the study team that was completed was just an amazing experience. Fortunately I’m super busy right now in my last term, at 10pm here in London it’s 5pm in NYC so I’m still readjusting.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    Great ! very nice share, thanks a lot and congratulations Charlotte ! Bravo !

    • 

      Thank you Pascal, I miss the French lifestyle I got used to in Paris, busy few months coming up to complete my degree.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        Vous avez des portes ouvertes à Paris et à New York, c’est génial – Maintenant, votre diplôme est l’objectif. Ne vous inquiétez pas, après votre formation, le monde deviendra votre maison! All the best pour Toi Charlotte !

  12. 
    Peter Alexander May 7, 2018 at 5:45 am

    What a wonderful, wonderful week, Charlotte! We’re heartbroken that you’re no longer on our continent, but so delighted that you had this great opportunity. And I’m deeply jealous that you met Joyce DiDonato! One of my great operatic heroes for sure. On foot is the best way to see New York, and I’m also really pleased that you got some good Mexican food. I go every summer to Santa Fe, where my parents lived for 25 years. Officially I’m there to review the opera, but I really go for the food.

    • 

      I’ve followed Joyce on twitter for years she is just a fantastic role model for young singers and so nice in real life too. I’ve had some great food experiences last month it really expanded my food horizon. I loved America.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Congratulations on the 100, looks like a fun time.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you it was great for the whole team to make 100 shows.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    Charlotte Sounds like great fun expeally in the industry you’re in Opera and drama I believe, wish you all the best…

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      It’s great to let what I love, be what I do as a job, I hope I can continue to find enough work to carry on after graduation.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Absolutely great – congrats all round. Beautiful poster, hope you’ve got a copy of it!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you, yes I’ve got a couple of fab mementoes.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    Superb post, as usual, Charlotte! What a week. Thank you for making us a part of it. Lovely photos. Of course I envy you the performance at the Met. lucia de Lammermoor is possibly my favourite opera though I’ve never managed to see it live; Joan Sutherland probably ‘converted’ me. And your 100th performance – at the Met 😱 Bravissama!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      I was sad to hang my hat up. Do you like contemporary operas? I’m doing scenes from Dove’s opera Flight as the Controller, and the Governess in a scene from Britton’s Turn of the Screw next,

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I have to admit I don’t know Dove but I am a fan of Britten. In fact when I used to sing (choir not solo – Harrogate Choral Society) the most exciting event ever was singing Britten’s War Requiem in Ripon Cathedral. I still remember a small orchestra coming to my primary school and playing ‘The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’, or part of it; I don’t remember the year but it can have been only a few year’s after it was composed.

  17. 

    It still amazes me that I began following you in school and now find a beautiful, ultimately talented woman today! Enjoy these days, Charlotte and always look forward!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      I’ve been working all day getting ready for my final performances at the Royal College of Music, like you said, where did those six years go! Two opera scenes, one a week on Friday and the next the following Tuesday and an a recital, I’m literally lapping up every moment, from trying my first American margarita (I’m a serious lightweight and one nearly knocked me out) to walking on the main stage at the Met and just being there, getting to see Joyce DiDonato perform.
      Looking forward and wondering what the heck is going to happen next 😄 keep your fingers crossed for me.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        You know I’m always here cheering you on!!

      • 
        Peter Alexander May 7, 2018 at 9:35 pm

        I don’t think you need my crossed fingers, Charlotte. You are on your way and I know the trip will be wonderful. But for what little it’s worth, you have all of my blessings and best wishes for the next steps in your journey. I’m looking forward to the day I see you on stage.

  18. 

    Hi Charlotte, I am thrilled for your week in New York City – it looks like a music lover’s dream and a wonderful introduction to your kinsfolk across the pond. Come back to see us whenever you can!!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      I would absolutely love to Sheila, I had a most wonderful week, I love the American vibe. Made some lovely new friends too.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. 

    Dear Charlotte,
    Great that you were able to perform BambinO at the Met and I am sure it was a great success. May the Lord continue to bless you my beloved.

  20. 

    Lots of congratulations due – the 100th performance, the performances at the MET and oh so lucky to see three operas! I am going to have a hard time getting the vision of you with the headdress out of my mind!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Hehe I know it’s a great costume the babies love it, my friend Davidona asked if I got to keep the hat sadly no 😊.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  21. 

    Brilliant post as always Charlotte , what a fabulous week ,you had in New York.
    Congratulations on doing 100 performance’s.
    I’m really pleased for you. Love the photo’s. 😘😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Happy you enjoyed this post 😊. You would love New York. 💯 yay!
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  22. 

    100 performances!! Simply wonderful! I’m glad you made it across “the Pond” to perform with the Met. Their opera guides are amazing, too. Himmel!, the Magic Flute guide is 40 pages. Many thanks for the links. Very useful.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather May 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Just so happy to have 100 opportunities to perform this show for new groups of babies 😀. Really glad you enjoyed the guides the Education department is absolutely fabulous.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  23. 

    We watched the Cendrillon in the Live-from-the-Met cinema performance. How wonderful to meet Joyce di Donato in person… only I can’t open the photo (or the Roméo and Juliette or the Norwood club). I hope there is something exciting ahead, so life is not too flat after this wonderful experience.

    • 

      I know what you mean Hilary. Fortunately I’m nice and busy this summer, I’m straight back into rehearsal for two opera scenes, The Contoller in Dove’s ‘Flight’ performance 18th May and The Governess in ‘The Turn of the Screw’, the BYO’s Stuart Barker is Directing and Michael Lloyd Conducting. The 1st stage rehearsal was today for the performance on 22nd May at 17:30. Then my RCM Final Recital is on 4th June.

      I then get my teeth into Bernstein’s Candide, the role of Cunegonde at the fabulous Minack Theatre in Cornwall which is an amazing location in July just waiting on performance times and dates I also think there is a performance in Croydon, with Surrey Opera.

      I’ve a concert at Tideswell near Buxton at the end of July that I’m really excited to do and see all my friends again at Tideswell Male Voice Choir.

      Then in August I’m looking forward to playing Maria Bertram in Dove’s ‘Mansfield Park’ for Waterperry Opera in Oxford. Very excited to expand my knowledge of an immersive opera experience but with an adult audience this time.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  24. 

    Looks fun.
    Welcome home! At least it’s sunny in the UK (for now)
    Love and light

    • 

      Thank you Eliza 😀. I don’t like complaining about the weather but I’m hoping it’s a bit cooler tonight so I can sleep better 💤.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    How fantastic to meet Joyce di Donato! It must have been an exhausting week but absolutely magical! Hope you have recovered from your jet-lag now xx

  26. 

    What an amazing experience, Charlotte! Congratulations. And it must have been so wonderful to get so completely overloaded on Met performances–I mean, how many people get to see three operas in one week anywhere, let alone at the Met? I’m green-eyed with jealousy–oh, wait, my eyes are green anyway :-). And what a thrill that you’ll be playing Cunegonde! I know what I want for my birthday–a trip down to Cornwall to hear you sing “Glitter and Be Gay”–that was the first opera song that I got hooked on, before I even really knew what opera was. I think I was about seven, and those high trills were just too fun for anything.

    All the best, Charlotte! Hope I’ll be able to make it into London to see your final recital–is it open to the public?

    Best regards,

    Cate

    • 

      Hi Cate, thank you 😊. I’ve heard this part of Cornwall is just beautiful and the theatre is stunning so that’s exciting.

      Yes my final recital is open to the public at the RCM and free, I’d love it if you could make it, it’s a Monday and starts at 11.10am and will be 40 minutes.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  27. 

    Congratulations on your great time in the states.

  28. 

    Glad you had a great time. And congrats on 100 performances! 🙂

  29. 

    You seem so versatile in the roles you can play!

  30. 

    The special moments you’ve created ~ with the audience, with your colleagues, and I believe with all the people you met in NYC ~ a wonderful gift to them and also to yourself. An incredible experience 🙂

    • 

      Thank you Randall I’ve been so busy since I got back it seems a while ago now 😊. It will be nice to put my scrapbook photos together of this part of the adventure.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  31. 

    Happy 100th Performance. Earned it. I’m glad you were able to visit the States. Congratulations.

    • 

      I love NYC and American can do busyness. I was sad it was all over but I haven’t stopped for a day since I got back so no time to dwell.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  32. 

    Somehow I missed your last several posts. It looks like you had a great time in NYC. Quite the adventure! As I watched the little promotional video in your last post I had to think how perfect you are for that role – you seem to engage the young children so well, are so expressive and have a lovely voice. Or have I said that after watching other BambinO clips? I’m glad my country treated you well 🙂

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