Archives For My Performances 2013

Performances

Soutport-Poster

I have been working hard on preparing my essays this week and with my first solo recital of 2014 coming up next Wednesday, the 12th February, I thought it would be a good idea to create a poster for the event 🙂

I have a second lunchtime recital in Bury, Lancashire on Friday, 14th February and I am looking to add a little St Valentine’s Day flair to my poster for that performance 🙂

These recitals should be a great way for me to kick off the 2014 season and I do hope that if any of you can make it to the venue that you will say hello 🙂

My Medley of Music Theatre

December 18, 2013 — 54 Comments

Here is a small medley of some of my early music theatre performances and I thought that they may make your smile 🙂

At this time of year I love to look back and reflect on what a great time I have had over the years. Performing has been a big part of my life so far and I hope that it will be a big part of my future too.

 

A Touch Of Brass

December 1, 2013 — 74 Comments

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I was so pleased to be invited to perform by the Bowdon Music Festival at their Christmas Spectacular held at St Mary’s Church in Bowdon on the 30th November. It was the first opportunity that I have had to perform with a brass band and I was excited about what to expect.  I knew that I needed to learn my cues and understand how the piece was to be performed with the band but due to the distance between Milnrow, where the band are from and Glasgow,  where I study,  there was no opportunity to rehearse together.

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The Milnrow Brass Band

I arrived at 4pm on the Saturday to run through my songs and try and grab some time with the Milnrow Brass Band, at the beginning of this year the band qualified for the 2013 National Finals for the first time in its long history you can read more on their website here.  They set up their playing positions in the space available and along with the Tideswell Male Voice Choir, very dapper in their lovely gold suits, worked through the evenings running order.

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The Tideswell Male Voice Choir

Kevin Gibbs, the Resident Conductor of the Milnrow Brass Band put me at ease and sensed that this was to be a new experience for me. We had about 15 to 20 minutes together, there were some timing issues to overcome as I got to grips with the new score.  I have sung ‘Rusalka’s Song To The Moon’ and ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ before with piano accompaniment but never with a brass band.

Feeling the excitement grow as the time of the performance approached I went to get changed and focus on what was to come. I sat in the little changing room and went through new timing in my head.  Just before the start I went through to the Church and sat next to Madeline Osborne who was to sing “Castle On a Cloud” from the role of young Cosette in Les Miserables.

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Here I am with Christopher Ellis( TMVC Principal Accompanist ), Dennis Kay ( TMVC Musical Director )and Madeline Osborne ( Soloist ).

Edwina Currie who was hosting the event introduced the programme and was wonderful at setting the mood for the evening.

The moment approached, I rose to my feet walked over to the side of Kevin; he smiled at me and I relaxed and he signalled to the band, the music started …

This is the recording of my first attempt and I hope that you enjoy it 🙂    I know I did, my parents said it was my best rendition of their favourite song and they loved the atmosphere that the band added to the song

The evening ended with a duet of “O Holy Night” that I performed with my first singing teacher, Miss Jayne Wilson.

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At the end of the evening with Edwina Currie and Jayne Wilson.

I was so pleased that my Nan brought this gorgeous shrug to wear as it kept me lovely and warm all night.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Hugh S Roberton Scots Song competition is a very popular event at our conservatoire. It took place today at the RCS Ledger Recital room starting at 1400.

It was great to learn two traditional Scottish songs, the pieces I chose were:

MacMillan – ‘Scots Song’ 1991 and an adaption of a poem by Carolina Oliphant – ‘The Laird O’ Cockpen’

I was accompanied on piano in the competition by third year student George Todica from Romania.

It was an open competition featuring around 20 students who all performed their favourite two traditional Scots songs.  The competition was running a little ahead of schedule and when I approached the room for my ten minute call I was asked to go straight on.  I announced my songs to give me a bit of breathing space.  I really enjoyed the performance space and the audience was fabulous and seemed to enjoy my songs.

I have put a video of me performing “Scots Song” at the Kathleen Ferrier Competition and I do hope you enjoy it. Since the recording I have been working on the bottom range of the song to try and improve my performance and it did feel a little better today.

The winner of today’s competition was my good friend Christian Schneeberger a tenor on the Master’s program at RCS

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Christian Schneeberger ( Winner )

 

and second place went to Kenneth Reid from the Opera school both fabulous performances and I was elated to be awarded third place for my performance.  I will continue to work on these songs and try my best to perfect them,

Upcoming performances, keep an eye on my events page on facebook and I’d appreciate it if you could like my page if you haven’t already 😉 and if you have thank you very much.

On Saturday 30th November 2013 I will be at the Bowdon Festival in Cheshire.

On Friday 6th December 2013 I am performing at Cumbernauld Church in Glasgow.

On Saturday 7th December 2013 I will be singing at a Marie Curie Cancer Care event organised by my friend Alex McFadden in memory of Jim Clark at Roslin, Midlothian (near Edinburgh).  I will be singing two solos and a duet with Marcus Kitchen.

On Tuesday 10th December 2013 I will be singing with the Les Sirenes Female Chamber Choir at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

Life’s A Carousel

November 3, 2013 — 55 Comments

 

When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high, And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm, Is a golden sky, And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk alone

When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high, And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm, Is a golden sky, And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind, Walk on through the rain, Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart, And you’ll never walk alone, You’ll never walk

You’ll never walk, You’ll never walk alone.

Lots of people in the U.K. think this is a football anthem as it is often performed by the supporters on match day; the tradition began at Liverpool Football Club in the early 60’s and spread to other clubs.  I read that Celtic FC in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland also sing this.  This year is the 50th anniversary of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ being sung by supporters of Liverpool FC.

The song is a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein hit musical Carousel which began life on Broadway in New York.  It was their second musical adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s 1909 play Liliom.  Nettie Fowler sings it to her cousin Julie, a millworker, when her husband Billy, a carousel barker, kills himself to avoid capture during a failed robbery.  It is reprised later in the show when Julie’s daughter graduates and the cast join in following the Dr Seldon, the town physician, advising the graduating class not to rely on their parent’s success or be held back by their failure.  In 1999 Time magazine named ‘Carousel’ the best musical of the 20th century.

It’s been a hit record for Gerry and the Pacemakers a Liverpool band in October 1963, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Doris Day amongst others.  The songs message of optimism and common purpose is great for a choir and I hope I can do it justice on Saturday 9th November as a solo number.  I thought it would be a suitable song for the remembrance concert ‘Autumn Leaves’ in Grindleford, Derbyshire.

 

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Then it is an early start and back up to Scotland for a concert in Beith as a member of “Les Sirenes”, the female chamber choir who in 2012 won the BBC choir of the year under the Musical Direction of Andrew Nunn.  This will be a great opportunity for me as I have been asked to sing one of my pieces from the Kathleen Ferrier competition, “Zueignung”.

 

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The Kathleen Ferrier 18th Annual Bursary for Young Singers competition yesterday October 27th, 2013 was a fantastic experience.  It was a special date because it was the 60th Anniversary of the death of Kathleen Ferrier.  The event is organised and managed by the Kathleen Ferrier Society and to mark this occasion they created a special Audience Prize of £60 to mark the 60 years.

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Dr Linda Hirst became the new President of the Kathleen Ferrier Society on January 1st 2013, she was joined on the adjudication panel by Elizabeth Gale and Nicholas Clayton.

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Mulțumesc to George 10am to 10pm was a big commitment from him

Olga Ivakina also from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and myself were the only two girls in the final from the fifteen original competitors and by all accounts it was a day with a very high standard of singing.  We did our best but couldn’t quite beat the Baritones to the top three prizes.  During the tea break my mum had tried to manage my expectations and had told me how fabulous all of the boys in the final were.  First prize was awarded to James Wafer from the RCM in London, second prize to James Newby from Trinity in London and third prize to Huw Montague Rendall from RCM so keep your eye out for these boys.

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I was honoured to receive the special audience award which was simply marvelous.  I’d had so many people come up to me to say they’d enjoyed my eighteen minute program and had their fingers crossed for me.  The judges took an extra fifteen minutes to decide keeping us on tender hooks for 45 minutes.  They awarded us all with a book to mark the occasion which was lovely.

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Greta Jakobsonaite ( Olga’s Accompanist ), Olga Ivakina and George Todica ( my Accompanist )

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Maurice Hargreaves came all the way from Hazel Grove to watch from 10 am until 10 pm. He said he really enjoyed the competition and I appreciated his support.

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It was nice to meet up with Merial Cunningham and Joy Naylor our singing teacher from JRNCM.

My Accompanist was George Todica

My first round songs were :

Handel – Recit & Aria: ‘Servasi alla mia bella’ & ‘Amor commanda’ (‘Floridante’)

Strauss – ‘Zueignung’

Strauss – ‘Freundliche Vision’

Dvorak – ‘Songs  My Mother Taught Me’ in Czech

MacMillan – ‘Scots Song’ 1991

Songs for the final :

Songs my Mother Taught Me

Freundliche Vision

and

Hageman – Do Not Go My Love

A Frisson of Excitement

October 20, 2013 — 101 Comments

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Next weekend 26/27th October I will be in Blackburn, Lancashire.  I was thrilled and honoured to be one of two second year singers selected to represent my Conservatoire, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers.  Each year the eight major Music Colleges in England, Scotland and Wales select two second year singers between the ages of 19 to 24 years.

I will be singing five songs in the first round of no more than 18 minutes duration.  My Russian friend Olga Ivakina, will be joining me from Glasgow and she will be accompanied on piano by Greta Jackobsonaite.

I will be accompanied by George Todica a third year pianist from Romania, we have enjoyed teaming up together and get along fabulously, he has the same work ethic as me and regardless of the outcome of the competition I have made a new friend that I may not have come into contact with otherwise.  I’m really looking forward to my first performance with him and I’m grateful for the practise time that he has provided.

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Kathleen Ferrier

The Kathleen Ferrier Society was formed to celebrate the life and music of Kathleen Ferrier, she was one of the world’s best loved singers. Her voice and warm personality ensured that she became one of the most celebrated British female singers of the 20th Century. Although her professional career was short, little more than ten years, and she died over half a century ago in 1953, she is still held in high regard today and remembered by many with great love and affection.

For anyone interested in joining the society you can find out more here.

If any of you are nearby on Sunday the event is available to watch, I am singing at 12:20 pm in the 10am to 1pm session.  I can feel a frisson of excitement run through me just typing that!  I hope there is an enthusiastic audience as it helps to get your “performance head on” if you know what I mean?  You rehearse and rehearse and I just hope I can relax enough to enjoy the performance because that is what I love to do the most.  When I have competed before it has been to test myself and to find ways to improve but this time I would love to repay the faith that the Conservatoire have shown in me and to thank my teachers at the conservatoire for all their help over the last twelve months and especially Kath,  my vocal teacher.

If you watch ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in the States I feel like the celebrities must feel just before they dance.  You’re waiting in the wings, everything that you have rehearsed running through your mind, then it’s your turn, you walk on to the stage the piano starts playing and you’re off with not just the audience in the room to please but the judges.  At least you don’t get put under a spotlight and the bottom two have to sing off before elimination in front of everyone, I’m only just appreciating how hard that must be.  I do wish all my fellow singers a good show and the best of luck to all the pianists who also have an accompanist’s prize to aim for.

Last Weekend’s Review

October 13, 2013 — 52 Comments

ArtIsCallingForMeStockport1

On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October I sang with the Tideswell Male Voice Choir at The Plaza Theatre and The Buxton Opera House alongside seven young vocalists and the original Military Wives Choir.

I had to manage my final practice sessions whilst feeling a little under the weather and on the Saturday afternoon I attempted to sing, perform and manage the rehearsals full voice.

I learnt later that evening that I should have taken Dame Jones advice from earlier in the week to sing half voice in rehearsal to preserve my voice as I was exhausted at the end and had to rely on the microphone more than I normally would.

You have to ‘construct your own learning and not be dictated to’ said Mr J Simon Van Der Walt a lecturer at the RCS in the week.  So what did I learn?

The first half finale was ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the whole cast, I could not see Dennis conducting and that was a mistake, I made a note to ensure I could see him at Buxton.

I read more about Eponine following my Gasworth Hall performance in preparation for the Les Mis Spectacular in the second half so that I could get the emotion right, I had great audience feedback after the show and several people told me it brought a tear to their eye.  On reflection if I had a head microphone I’d like to sing ‘A Little Fall of Rain’  lying down with with my shoulders propped up against Marius (Matthew) who would be kneeling, I think it would be even more moving that way, its hard to die standing up 😉 .

I used some of the comments my blogger friends had said about my performances of ‘Art is Calling for Me’, that Dennis had asked me to sing in the Saturday program, to improve my vocals including crisper consonants.  I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, my Dad video recorded it for me to review – I must say the tiara adds a special something.  I sang this song for my Grade 8 vocal exam and I really love it I just hope that comes over.  I have written a full review in my notebook so that when I look back at my performances I can remember what I need to work on to improve them further.

The finale was ‘Do you hear the people sing’ its a fabulous song to sing with a full stage of vocalists it really makes your blood pump and heart lift.

I had a lie in on the Sunday morning and my parents cooked me Sunday roast for Noon which gave me loads of new energy as the days rehearsals were to start at 1:30 pm about 1 hour from home.  I sang more quietly on the Sunday afternoon to preserve my voice.  The acoustics in the Opera House were fabulous.

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Marcus Kitchen and I sang “Time To Say Goodbye” at the Buxton Opera House.

That evening I was singing ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ and a duet with Marcus Kitchen also a vocalist from the RCS our first public outing of ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ unfortunately we could not record any of the songs at Buxton.

There was a lovely review in the Derbyshire times :

Charlotte Hoather, a vocal music student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, gave a dazzling performance of Time To Say Goodbye, sung in Italian and English, before an equally powerful and moving rendition of O Mio Babbino Caro.”

Top solos came from Charlotte Hoather who gave an emotionally-charged performance as Eponine, singing On My Own and A Little Fall Of Rain”

Here is a copy of my performance with Matthew Mellor of “A Little Fall of Rain” from the Stockport Plaza.

Following the concert at the Stockport Plaza I went to talk to some of the Army Medical reservists who had been so supportive of the event.  With their help it was a great success the charities they support all benefited from the amazing evening with the help of the Tideswell Male Voice choir, the Military Wives choir and these wonderful volunteers.

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My parents have been the foundations which have enabled me to pursue my dreams.  They have always been fully supportive of my desire to become a classically trained singer, and my brother’s dreams too.  I will be in Glasgow on their 30th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow the 1st October, and Matt will be in London, so we’ll have to rely on Tom giving them a hug.  We would love to wish them every happiness and I can’t wait to see them both at the weekend  🙂

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Pearls of wisdom

P is for Patience as you worked with each of us on the things that were important to our futures.
E is for Examples that you have both been to us in the way you have lived your lives.
A is for Always being there when we need someone to talk to.
R is for Resourceful in helping us identify ways we can work through our tasks.
L is for Loving us each and every day.

I can’t wait to see what the next 30 years has to bring.

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On Their Wedding Day

My Dad is in the process of transferring all of our old video recorder tapes into his computer digitally then indexing them because this is what Mum has asked for as her gift.  I can’t wait until it’s finished so I can see some of them 😉 .   This process is taking him ages and he has been digitising them every night after work for the last two weeks and he’s only a quarter of the way through!  He says it is very distracting, apparently, to keep seeing us as babies, toddlers and young children as he keeps stopping to watch little clips he and Mum have remembered fondly along the way.

Dad said that we have always competed against each other and apparently there is footage of me and my elder brother fooling around pretending to be Power Rangers on their bed, aged 2 and 5, until Matt gives me a shove off the side of the bed!   Equally alarming is us both giving our one year old baby brother Tom a spin in the baby bouncer hanging off the door frame, and my first roller-skate practise with some of Tom’s nappies stuck down the back of my shorts because I kept falling over to give me a bit of padding.

Mum says it’s been sad too, she walked past the monitor and stopped to watch me singing ‘Truly Scrumptious’ from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to my Aunty Marjorie, my first fan who is sadly no longer with us, I think of her every time I sing in St Annes.  I can’t sing ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ without tears as I sang it at her funeral service, it would have been her birthday on the 13th October.

I have loaded my performance of “My Ship” from the musical “Lady in the Dark”.  The musical was written by Kurt Weill ( music ) and Ira Gershwin ( lyrics ) and this song is the final song of the show following the three dream sequences “the Glamour Dream”, “the Wedding Dream” and the “the Circus Dream”.  It is a beautiful song and one of my parent’s favourites from my early repertoire before leaving home to start at RCS.

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I will be singing Éponine Thénardier’s songs from “Les Misérables” a musical adapted from the book by Victor Hugo on 5th and 6th October 2013 in the Stockport Plaza and Buxton Opera House with the Tideswell Male Voice Choir.

I wanted to dig a little deeper into the character and try to understand the situation that she found herself in.  Here is what I have found out so far about Éponine and Marius’ story:

Éponine’s parents, the Thénardiers ran their own business as innkeepers whilst she was a young child, during this period they were successful she was pampered and spoilt.  They took in Cosette at the age of three when her mother, Fantine, unmarried and abandoned by her lover is left to fight for their survival.  At first Cosette and Éponine play as friends but over time the Thénardiers start to mistreat Cosette and make her wear rags and work in the Inn until her freedom is purchased by Jean Valjean. Eight years later, the Thénardiers Inn goes bankrupt and the family find themselves broke so they move to live in Paris.

Whilst in Paris, Éponine became a wretched adolescence, prematurely ageing due to living in poverty.  She falls helplessly in love with her neighbour, Marius.

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A Warming House in Paris in the 1840s.

Marius was raised by his rich grandfather, a fierce supporter of the Monarchy.  His grandfather was a mean old man, in his 90’s, who told Marius’ father, a Colonel in Napoleon’s army, that Marius would be disinherited if he attempted to make contact with his son.  Marius is told to write to his father once each month but his grandfather never gives the replies to his grandson.  When Marius turns 18 his grandfather instructs him to visit his father but he arrives seconds after his death.  Marius discovers a note from his father instructing his son to help Thénardier if possible because the Colonel believed he saved his life at Waterloo.

Marius is told by a church warden that his father regularly hid in church during Mass to catch a glimpse of him and the truth about his grandfather.  Marius starts to look up information about his father, he learns he is highly decorated and begins to hero worship his dead father.  He argues with his grandfather and moves out refusing help, his grandfather sends him money but Marius mails it back, his aunt living with the grandfather keeps the money.  Marius begins his studies as a lawyer but descends into poverty; despite this he finishes his studies.

During this time Marius often goes to the Luxembourg Gardens where he regularly sees Cosette, who moved to Paris following her rescue from the Thénardiers, he slowly falls in love with her.

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Porte Saint-Denis, Paris c1840

Éponine first meets Marius at his apartment in the tenement they both live in. She attempts to give him a begging letter off her father who now goes by the name Jondrette.  To impress him she demonstrates that she can read and then writes a sentence, ‘the police are here’, to show her literacy.  She opens up to Marius about her hard life; he feels pity and gives her five francs.  Éponine leaves to present her next begging letter to a local philanthropist and his daughter; they turn out to be Jean Valjean and Cosette.  When they visit the Thénardiers, Marius sees them and begs Éponine to give him their address.

Eponine tells Marius where to find Cosette and he visits her home.  After six weeks of secret meetings they fall in love but Jean Valjean shatters their bliss when he announces he and Cosette are leaving for England.  Marius goes to Cosette’s house but she has fled with Valjean, advised by a voice (Eponine) that his friends are waiting for him, he goes to the barricade hoping to die.

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Lamartine, before the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, rejects the Red Flag,” February 25, 1848″. By Henri Felix Emmanuel Philippoteaux (1815–1884).

Disguising herself as a young boy, Eponine goes to the barricade and during the ensuing battle she saves Marius’ life by placing her hand and body in front of the musket of a soldier who was about to shoot him.  Marius is distracted by the fighting all around him and threatens to blow up the barricade to scare away the advancing troops.  He hears Eponine call to him; she is fatally shot aged just 17.  With her last breath she confesses her love for him giving him a letter.  The letter reveals the whereabouts of Cosette.

After reading this tragic account of unrequited love and the terrible change in circumstances suffered by Eponine and others in this sad tale. I want to try to understand a little more about the time in which the character would have lived.  If you have any extra information or posts about France in the 1830’s and 1840’s that you could direct me to reading I would really appreciate it.

Here is a recording of my performance from Gawsworth Hall on 11th August.