Weekly Musings and Music-Making

It was such a delight to visit Alderley Edge in Cheshire to perform alongside George Todica on Wednesday this week. I used to visit this town annually to participate in the Alderley Edge Festival of Music, Speech, and Drama. This week-long platform hosted many different competitions where performers could showcase their skills as musicians, public speakers, singers, and actors. The festival has been running for over a hundred years and I was fortunate to celebrate their centennial year in 2016 by performing in their gala concert. If you are interested in building up experience and showcasing your skills within the UK. Then check out the Festival Directory by clicking on the link and see if there is a festival near you that you can apply to. I learnt so much from these experiences when I was younger and can’t recommend them enough!

George and I performed at Alderley Edge Methodist Church, which is one of the venues now associated with the festival. The team who organise the lunchtime recitals here were so warm and welcoming and created a relaxing atmosphere – just perfect for our performance. I was thrilled to see some new faces as well as some from my childhood friends.

On Tuesday 18th February I attended a talk held in the Caversham Room at Cadogan Hall. The event was organised by Opera Prelude, an organisation who is passionate about opera and the professional development of young singers. They specialise in lecture-recitals and masterclasses. The event that I attended was called: The Key to Audition Success. The guest speaker was Sarah Playfair, who is a renowned Casting Director who previously held artistic administrative positions at Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival for many years before becoming a freelance arts consultant. Playfair spoke precisely and honestly about her work. It was very helpful to hear a voice from the panel, which so often in auditions only says “Hello” and “Thank you”.

She offered advice across a range of topics but I found it a little disheartening when she discussed the volume of sopranos (my voice type) that apply for each audition. The amount is much greater than all the other voice types put together and often represents over two-thirds of all applications received. An example she gave: there were 220 sopranos who auditioned for five chorus spots, and that wasn’t including the number of applicants who didn’t pass to live audition! Playfair discussed that certain training programs would tip the odds in your favour, such as opera school. I haven’t completed an OS program, and as a freelance artist, the odds seem a little steep. But I shall keep swimming and hopefully, I will be one of the fishes that slips through the net.

For those of you who may have missed my most recent video release I have included it below:

41 thoughts on “Weekly Musings and Music-Making

    1. Dear John, it means a lot to me to hear your kind words. They are like waves of energy to remind me to persevere. I have some great showcases coming up and I’m excited for them!

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. That’s awesome you enjoyed the performance Joseph! The image on your recent evening meditation glows with warmth – I’ll take that with me this week.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. Dear Martin! Let’s go Team! I feel like my friends on my blog give me momentum towards my larger goals. But it is so important to also find joy the present. I get to do what I love for my job – I am already so lucky!

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. Gwen, you are fabulous! I am thrilled to be able to share my journey with you. Thank you for supporting me on this wild chase towards my dreams.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. Many thanks Pascal, I try to think of interesting topics – and share my weekly experiences. Some weeks are easier than others – as I am sure you will know from your blogging career. The fun is in the doing.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  1. We had the pleasure of seeing you and George on Wednesday, performing your recital.. It was wonderful, everyone in church really enjoyed it.
    It was such a good turnout too, well done you were both amazing.xx

    1. It meant the world to me and George to see you at our concert last week! Seeing your smiling face in the audience always fills me with confidence.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. You have a beautiful, clear and expressive voice, Charlotte. Keep swimming, and you will continue to succeed. More and more doors will open!

    That was an interesting comment from Sarah Playfair about sopranos being the most common vocal type. I was surprised that is the case.

    1. I like your expression “More and More doors” – it implies that these will be extra on top of the wonderful things I am doing now. This is the way I want and try to think.

      I always knew there were lots more sopranos, but I was surprised to hear some statistics!

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  3. Absolutely loved your performance at Alderley Edge, it was superb. You are in a very competitive industry Charlotte, but you certainly have the X factor and this shines out in all your performances. Your talent and overall charisma and stage presence will get you to your end goal, of that I am certain. 😘

    1. Dear Gilly, thank you so much for coming and supporting George and I in Alderly Edge. Your belief in me is so generous and is great to read on a Monday before the week ahead! I got this! Let’s go team!

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. I love the adjective hale – I haven’t read it before and it is such a lovely way to describe me. Thank you. Let’s go be hale and hearty!

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

    1. You are so welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope to share more videos in the future.

      Best Wishes,
      Charlotte

  4. Wow. Those odds suck!
    Almost as bad a writing a book and hoping it is successful. It’s hard to break out of the pack.
    Maybe you could show up with platform shoes, and full drag queen makeup and hair! That would get you noticed! (just kidding).
    You are super talented, you work hard, and hopefully a bit of luck comes your way.

    In other news – Misfit Mage is now out in Ebook, Paperback, and Audio book! Woot! I’m about 75K words into the 2nd book, so it’s coming along.

    I wish you all the best and keep swimming!

    1. Thanks Michael, you are not far wrong about having to try all the little extra tricks to try and stand out in the crowd. But unfortunately you usually have to apply these to your written submission as getting into the live audition is the hardest part. At least once you are on stage you have the chance to shine and impress with your voice.

      Great news about the book 🙂 and all the very best with number two !!

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. Brava, Charlotte! I enjoyed your performance so much., You are a star! Thanks so much for sharing it with me, with us! You and your pianist were in the groove together!

    1. Thank you, Noelle I’m really happy you enjoyed our video 😊. Sharing videos is often seen in the classical world as not the done thing especially if there are a few errors and it’s not absolutely perfect, I can look back at old recordings and think hmmm! Could have done that better but that is the self-critical element of our training. Saying that though sometimes I just think go for it and I’m simply glad to receive your lovely message.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. I do believe you are slipping through the net! I caught “Piangero La Sorte Mia” on Youtube.
    I am mesmerized, and a huge fan of you and George together. I think you two can really take the world together. (and you are so adorable together!)

    1. Thank you for your confidence boost Resa, we really enjoy our duo work when we have time.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. I wish I knew how to Write Music to go along with Writing my Screenplays. Then, I could say George, play ‘this’ melody, Charlotte, sing this tone, which would fit certain Film Scenes I’ve written.

    One of the ways you break into Major Spotlight is having your Songs in Films. Everyone watches Movies and I’ve found many of my favorite Songs while watching Films. Perhaps, you could approach Film Studios with a Demo of your Work. Most reputable Filmmakers show their Work at Film Festivals with grand audiences. Certainly the Work of you two would be noticed by these audiences and other Film Studios looking for Music Talent.

    ..and if I ever met you two in-person, I’d have a special Request. Perform the “Terminator 2” Theme by Brad Fiedel. No, it’s doesn’t have Lyrics, but there are people singing a distinct Tone, which I think would sound wonderful with your Voice. ..I’d tweak a few things to make it fit the Opera Style of Music, but.. I think that would work. 😀 It’s simply a different avenue to use in order to bring more attention to Opera.

    1. Well if we can help Eric, George and I can both write music and I was happy for you to use the Scots Song last time with your lovely images.

      I’ve sung for several film composers but I think it is composer led rather than singer led, however, I will look into it. You don’t always need words to sing, there are quite a few songs I sing that are sounds rather than words, I’ll have to have a listen to the score.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. No, I don’t think I know Christopher Davis but it’s a small world classical music in the UK so we may have crossed paths.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

    1. I’m not discouraged, more doubling down. Thank you very much for your encouragement 😊 that is always reassuring.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I wish you could come to listen and watch too, I’m excited for the performance in Skipton this Friday.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

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