It has been such an honour to be selected for this year’s Seoul International Music competition and I’m having a magical time here in Seoul, such a beautiful place and the people are so friendly and welcoming. I have met so many fabulous singers and had the opportunity to spend time with them and build new friendships; Yurie Takano from Japan, Yemonja Stanley from the USA, Maarri Ernits from Estonia, and the super Menna Cazel from the UK.
This year the standard has been exceptionally high, and I have not envied the job of the judges who have to try and mark our performances and pick the finalists. I have learned so much from the experience and though I did not progress through to the final round the feedback from the judges has been very constructive and it was a privilege to meet them to seek their advice.
Exploring the city of Seoul has been a real treat as the public transport system is easy to use and very comprehensive once you get to grips with the map 😊 So far I have visited the Olympic village which was about an hour on the train, it was quite inspiring to walk around and try and imagine what it must have been like full of competitors and cheering crowds.
We have walked all over the Gangnam area which is where we have been staying and sampled the Korean cuisine in several of the local restaurants.
The staff at tourist centre have been so helpful and suggested several places to visit whilst we are here. It was fun to walk along the K-Star road and check out the iconic Gangnam Dolls.
I also visited the Starfield Library in Gangnam which had some amazing larger than life illustrations constructed with books, quite an achievement 😊
The Arts centre where we performed was amazing, it houses the Opera House, Music Hall, the Hangaram Art Museum, the Hangaram Design Museum and the Seoul Calligraphy Museum. The campus was huge and reminded me of Lincoln Centre in New York and so convenient to have such fabulous performance spaces all in the one place. My brother Matt and his husband Alex flew out yesterday to come and support me and to take a short holiday. It will be a treat to spend some time here with them and share some quality time exploring the culture and heritage of this amazing City and the surrounding areas