Archives For My Performances 2014

 

Programme

I was excited as the time approached for the evening’s performance, outside the church I could hear the gentle chatter of the audience as they started to arrive on what was a beautiful summer evening.

The lights dimmed and then the performance began.  It was a lovely venue to perform in and to see such a large audience made the evening even more special.

The instrumental accompaniment was provided by members of the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tom Newall and the beautiful melodies composed by Puccini and played by these gifted musicians filled the evening air.

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The evening progressed and the cast brought the characters to life as the story of Madama Butterfly unfolded to the delight of an enthusiastic audience.

The-Cast

Following the dramatic final scene as Butterfly lay dying and Sharpless carried off Butterfly’s child the lights dimmed and audience rose to show their appreciation.  It was a wonderful evening and Bowdon Festival should be proud of their achievement in producing this beautiful opera and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

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Me With Jayne Wilson After The Performance

Then this afternoon I was back on the train to Glasgow to spend a few days there before travelling back to Manchester for the Greater Manchester Chief Constable’s Charity Ball on Friday 3rd July.  Then on Sunday I am off to Italy for 5 weeks on an opera summer school.  The school is to take place in a small town called Fiera di Primiero in Trentino region of Italy.

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Fiera di Primiero, Italy

I will be with a group of students that have been selected from all over the world to take part in a series of workshops and master-classes culminating with the performances of several operas during the local music festival.  I hope to build on my experiences from this year and to both develop existing skills and learn new ones.

Ching-A-Ring Chaw

February 15, 2015 — 41 Comments

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I would like to share with you another one of Aaron Copland’s songs from his American folk songs collection.

Aaron-Copland

Aaron Copland

 

The collection was written in two parts, the first set of five songs were arranged following a request from Benjamin Britten for his Music and Art Festival in Aldeburgh in 1950.  These songs were well received and so Copland decided to write another five in 1952.

Benjamin-Britten

Benjamin Britten

 

Last week I shared with you the lilting lullaby “The Little Horses” which came from the second set of songs so as a contrast I selected another song from the same set “Ching-A-Ring Chaw” as I liked the energetic nature of the piece.  When selecting the songs to sing together for a recital sometimes it is good to show a little contrast and variety.  I hope that you enjoy the recording.

Ching-A-Ring Chaw

Ching-a-ring-a ring ching ching,
Hoa dinga ding kum larkee,
Ching-a-ring-a ring ching ching,
Hoa ding kum larkee.
Brothers gather round,
Listen to this story,
‘Bout the promised land,
An’ the promised glory.
You don’ need to fear,
If you have no money,
You don’ need none there,
To buy you milk and honey.
There you’ll ride in style,
Coach with four white horses,
There the evenin’ meal,
Has one two three four courses.
Nights we all will dance
To the harp and fiddle,
Waltz and jig and prance,
“Cast off down the middle!”
When the mornin’ come,
All in grand and splendour,
Stand out in the sun,
And hear the holy thunder.
Brothers hear me out,
The promised land’s a-comin’
Dance and sing and shout,
I hear them harps a strummin.’

Freundliche-Vision-Blog

I have written previously about Richard Strauss on my blog as I find many of his songs to be full of romance and the beauty to be found within loving relationships. With Valentine’s Day approaching this Saturday I thought I would take the opportunity to share another of Strauss’s songs with you.

“Freundliche Vision” (a welcome vision or a friendly vision)

This was recorded last year on Valentine’s Day, February 14th 2014 in Bury Parish church accompanied by Russell Lomas.

The inspiration for this song came from a poem written by Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865 – 1910). The poem was one of five works by Bierbaum that Richard Strauss set to music in 1918 for his song cycle Opus 48.

The poems/songs were:

Freundliche Vision
Ich Schwebe
Kling!
Winterweihe
Winterliebe

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Richard Strauss

 

The songs were testaments to love; the emotions, feelings, sensations and excitement that you experience when you share your life with someone special to you.

These were the words from the original poem:

Nicht im Schlafe hab’ ich das geträumt,
Hell am Tage sah ich’s schön vor mir:
Eine Wiese voller Margeritten;
Tief ein weißes Haus in grünen Büschen;
Götterbilder leuchten aus dem Laube.
Und ich geh’ mit Einer, die mich lieb hat,
Ruhigen Gemütes in die Kühle
Dieses weißen Hauses, in den Frieden,
Der voll Schönheit wartet, daß wir kommen.

Otto Bierbaum

I found this beautiful translation of the poem into English by Constance Bache (1846 – 1903) which I hope will give you an idea of the emotion to be found in the original text.

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Not in slumber did the dream arise,
But in day’s broad light I saw it all:
Just a meadow full of budding daisies,
And a sunny house half hid in foliage;
Forms divine are lurking in the thicket.
And I walk with her whose love I cherish;
Tranquillity we enjoy the coolness
Of this sheltered cottage, full of beauty,
Full of peace that waiteth on our coming.
And I go with her whom I cherish
To the peace and the beauty

Constance Bache

Constance Bache was herself a pianist and composer who studied at the Munich Conservatoire in Germany but following an injury to her right hand she returned to England and along with her teaching she translated many German and Russian songs into English.

Constance-Bache

Other Examples Of Songs Translated Into English By Constance Bache

 

These beautiful songs and their sentiments are a great way to lift your spirits especially as Valentine’s Day approaches. These poems paint emotive images of love between kindred spirits.

 

Scots Song – Track 12

February 4, 2015 — 54 Comments

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One of the best things about studying classical music here at the RCS is the opportunity to explore diverse repertoire. Immersing yourself in great works from different composers, countries and cultures makes for exciting times.

I added two beautiful Scottish Songs to my repertoire for a competition, the Hugh S Robertson Scots Song competition held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in November 2013., “Scots Song” and “The Laird O’ Cockpen”. These songs are tracks 12 and 13 on my album Canzoni D’Amore (Songs of Love).

James-MacMillan

James MacMillan

‘Scots Song’ was composed by James MacMillan (b.1959) CBE, in 1991 and is one of the songs from ‘Three Scottish Songs’ an atmospheric setting of poems in Scots and in English by William Soutar (1898-1943)..

William-Soutar

William Soutar

‘Scots Song’ 1991; ‘Ballad’ 1994; and ‘The Children’ 1995.

James MacMillian is a Scottish born Classical and modern composer and conductor who became Associate composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

“The Tryst” poem by William Soutar became the Scots Song. The hauntingly beautiful lyrics could be explained as two lovers meeting secretly at night and sharing precious hours together before having to part in the morning.

O luely, luely cam she in
And luely she lay doun;
I kent her be her caller lips
And her briests sae sma’ and roun’

A’ thru the nicht we spak nae word
Nor sinder’d bane frae bane:
A’thru the nicht I heard her hert
Gang soundin’ wi’my ain.

It was about the waukrife hour
Whan cocks begin to craw;
The she smool’d saftly thru the mirk
Afore the day wud daw.

Sae luely, luely cam she in
Sae luely was she gaen;
And wi’her a’ my simmer days
Like they had never been

I sang it at The Kathleen Ferrier Bursary competition, but here’s a recording I made at Bury Parish Church on February 14th 2014, a great tune for Valentine’s day.

I recently went with friends to watch James MacMillan’s opera “Ines de Castro” at the refurbished Theatre Royal in Glasgow. It was a great evening and I must put some time aside to write about it for you. Here are a couple of pictures from the evening.

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Scottish-Opera-With-Foyer

When you visit Glasgow you see the influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh everywhere. He was a local architect, artist and designer, whose reputation was quick to spread way beyond his home city.  He was born in Glasgow in 1868 and was apprenticed to an architect.  As well as this he enrolled for evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art .

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh

 

He went on to design the new home for the Glasgow School of Art which is an iconic example of his work. It was such a shock when in May this year the building was quite badly damaged in a fire.

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The Glasgow School Of Art

My Mum has always loved his designs and has several pieces from mugs to pictures at home but I hadn’t realised he was so famous and was such an important figure in Scotland.  We’ve visited the tea rooms he designed which are filled with examples of his work, a fabulous place with gorgeous food 🙂

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Charlotte-And-Tom-Willow-Tea-Rooms

The church that Les Sirenes female chamber choir from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be performing in on Friday 12th December was also designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is just a wonderful place to perform. The  Mackintosh Church is a beautiful building which provides a fantastic backdrop for our Christmas concert.

Mackintosh-Church

I am so excited to be singing alongside my friends and fellow students in the choir, the Christmas concerts that our music director, Andrew Nunn, puts together are always so uplifting and full of fabulous music just right to put you in the Christmas spirit.

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It’s been a sold out event for the past two years so if you’re in Glasgow and need a jump start to your Christmas we’d love to see you there next Friday.  You can book tickets at the RCS box office.

Only ten minutes from Glasgow City Centre I’ve discovered the House for an Art Lover’, in 1989 a team of architects led by Professor Andy MacMilan, then head of architecture at Glasgow School of Art, had the idea to build the house interpreting Mackintosh’s drawings from a competition entry Mackintosh made to a German magazine in the winter of 1901.  House for an Art Lover is a charitable company whose primary purpose is the stimulation of public interest in Art, Design and Architecture.

House-Of-An-Art-Lover

The Music room, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife provided detailed interior designs for the double-height Entrance Hall, Dining room, Oval Room and Music room you can see below.  There is a café, gallery and shop and it’s open all year around..

Music-Doomr

Never Forget

November 10, 2014 — 51 Comments

Yesterday Sunday 9th November, at Lunch time the soloists and several members of the Tideswell Male Voice Choir had a run through of some of the songs from the evening show at Best Western’s Lee Wood Hotel in Buxton, a lovely venue, it was a lovely warm sunny day for November, having sampled the delicious carvery I can recommend it if you find yourself in Buxton.

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The Tideswell Male Voice Choir ‘Never Forget’ show was a very special event, it was a very ambitious project and was a full journey of emotions sharing an assortment of music, dance, and poetry to help us pay tribute to the men and women who fought and still do for our freedom. As Edwina Currie, the Tideswell MWC President wrote “We are commemorating not only the centenary of the First World War, the ‘War to end all wars’ as it was called at the time, but to remember the lives of men and women in so many human conflicts over more than 200 years.”

We had audience participation too with a sing-along of old favourites; Its A Long Way to Tipperary; Pack Up Your Troubles; Keep the Home Fires Burning; There’ll Be Blue Birds Over the White Cliffs of Dover. Everyone was in fine voice and enjoyed it with all the words in their complimentary program. I sang ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Jerusalem’ after the sing-along with everyone joining in which was just lovely, very moving for me.

Never-Forget-TMVC

The evening was brought to a close with a minute’s silence to allow everyone time for reflection and remembrance which was very touching and I prayed for peace which I know most of us wish for.

Armistice Day, the 11th November 1918 saw the ceasefire on the Western front .  The date was both a celebration of the war drawing to a close and a time to think about those who did not return or carried the wounds they received during the fighting.  I have always been aware that the date was special to many people and over the years I have become more aware as to the reasons why.

It will be my 21st birthday tomorrow on Armistice day and though I will be spending the time with my family to celebrate a milestone in my life we will still remember the importance of the day to so many others.

 

21stBirthday

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I have had a fabulous time over the last couple of weeks and I just don’t know where the time has gone.  I was really overwhelmed by all your kind wishes and lovely comments for my birthday.  I have not been able to answer them all and have to dash back into school now so a BIG thank you to everyone 🙂

Best wishes

Charlotte

UPDATE

I would like to thank Simon Bull a photographer who took some pictures at the concert who has given me permission to include them in my post.

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Buxton-Opera-House-2014-Update

November Shows

October 22, 2014 — 38 Comments

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It has been a hectic four weeks since the start of term and I’m enjoying being back at the Conservatoire and trying to plan the year ahead. I would like to thank everyone for your comments and contributions to my first piece of “Critical Writing”. It was really helpful to be able to read through your suggestions and I will try really hard to incorporate them when I have to write my next draft, I will keep you all posted :).  It’s a challenging time deciding how to plan out my year and fit in all of the new repertoire and skills I need to learn.

This November I have been asked to join the Tideswell Male Voice Choir to sing in their ‘Never Forget’ remembrance concert, under the musical direction of Dennis Kay along with Christopher Ellis on piano and Des McGill on percussion. The evening will also feature Corus Brass, renowned poet F. Philip Holland and vocal soloists Matthew Mellor, Erin Alexander, Madeleine Osborne, Philip Rigley and Kieron-Connor Valentine.

This year, 2014 commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war and there have been a large number of events to help remember those who sacrificed so much during the four year conflict.

The ‘Never Forget’ evening will unfold through dance, visual effects and poetry and offer the audience a feast of delight. The show will pay tribute not only to the heroes of Flanders Fields but also to all those who have made sacrifices in other theatres of conflict down the years and throughout the world.

After practising my songs, all I have to do now is decide which dress to wear for the evening, decisions decisions 🙂

The first of the two concerts will take place in Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre:

Rememberance2014Chesterfield

And the following evening in Buxton’s Opera House:

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Postcodes for the events are Chesterfield S41 7TX and Buxton SK17 6XN
 

Marie Curie is a UK based charity that provides care for people with terminal illnesses both through their hospices and through the nurses they employ to provide care at home. In 2012/13 they provided over 1.3 million hours of nursing care and to continue with their work they need to continually raise money through charitable events and donations.  70% of their funding comes in this way with the remainder being provided by the NHS.

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So I was thrilled to be asked to sing again at one of their fundraising events at the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. When I saw the venue I was amazed at the beauty of the room and I could sense the history of the building.

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The floating heads in the foyer were definitely a talking point.

The evening was billed as the must attend event of the year in the Glasgow calendar with businesses competing against each other for the title of the “Brainiest Company in Glasgow”

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The view of the room from the balcony was amazing.

For my part I was to perform at the end of the evening meal and was very excited about the opportunity.  When I found out that it was to be a formal banquet I jumped at the chance to get dressed up, as if I really needed an excuse 🙂

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George Todica when we first arrived at the venue.

George Todica skilfully accompanied me on piano for the performance, it was tremendous fun and we enjoyed every minute of it. I met some lovely people and enjoyed talking with them throughout the evening.

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Lorna and Gordon, the organisers of the event.

Two of the quiz-masters for the evening were Sean Biggerstaff ( who played Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter movies ) and Cat Cubie a prestenter from BBC Scotland.

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Cat Cubie

Marie-Curie-Cancer-Care

 

Tonight’s post is only a short one as my brother Matt is coming home tonight as it is his birthday later this week and I am looking forward to spending some time with him.:)

Here is a video of my performance of “Wishing You were Somehow Here Again” from “The Phantom Of The Opera” which I hope will give you a flavour of the concert.

I had such a wonderful time last Sunday performing with the Tideswell Male Voice Choir at Gawsworth Hall. It was great to perform again with the choir who always make me feel so welcome, especially Dennis Kay ( the musical director ) who makes this all possible

The Tudor house and gardens provided an incredible setting for the concert and I want to say a big thank you to Christopher Ellis ( keyboards ) and Derrick McGill ( percussion ) for the truly atmospheric accompaniment.

Chris And Derrick

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“One Voice” – the opening song from the concert

I found out that we had a professional photographer in the audience last Sunday who has kindly allowed us to use some of the pictures that he took.

Here is a picture of Matthew Mellor performing “Master Of The House” from “Les Miserables”. It was great fun to join in with the rest of the choir to help set the scene

Photograph by Simon Bull Images

Simon-Bull-Images-Master-Of-The-House

Whirlwind

August 11, 2014 — 51 Comments

What a whirlwind of a day yesterday at the beautiful Gawsworth Hall Theatre. This beautiful ancient Cheshire Manor House with its Tudor courtyard forms the backdrop for the venue. Fortunately the Grandstand and performers areas are covered and protected from most of the elements; however it rained throughout the rehearsals as we caught the tail end of hurricane Bertha 🙁

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I began my day at 8am by having a good breakfast following which a skilled hairdresser looped my hair and pinned it into place ready for the performance that night.

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This month I’d discovered that a friend from Tap class and High School had qualified as a beautician; Daniella is now working freelance and building her own business which I really admire. I hardly ever wear much makeup, usually only for stage work, or for special occasions, so consequently I’m not very experienced. I usually end up getting mascara all up my eyelids and if I’ve already put eye shadow on that’s a bit annoying, blending powders and not getting a chin line is a skill I’m still mastering and let’s not mention my attempts at eye liner! So I took the opportunity to have a master-class from Danielle ready for the performance, great fun and lovely to catch up.

You all know by now that I have a wonderful amount of support from my family and friends, yesterday my parents drove me to the event for 1pm for a meeting and full cast rehearsals. I got the opportunity to rehearse my first act songs, ‘Think of Me’ and ‘Wishing you were Somehow Here Again’ from the Phantom of the Opera with Christopher Ellis and Derrick McGill ( Des ) who provided atmospheric accompaniment including timpani, trills and skills. My brother Tom said that they added so much to the songs and he was really impressed.

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The audience came dressed for the weather and were not put off by the chance of more rain .

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It was great to see everyone was in the mood for a great show.

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During my first solo song, “Think Of Me” from “The Phantom Of The Opera”.

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Then with a cloak to help set the scene for my next song “Wishing You were Somehow Here Again” from “the Phantom Of The Opera”.

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After the interval and a quick change I performed Eponine’s songs “On My Own” and “A Little Fall Of Rain” from “Les Miserables”.

Then good fortune shone down on us,the rain cleared up just before the performance, and although it was still quite windy the skies stayed that way until the end of the show.  On the way home the rain poured down for the entire journey with the roads flooding.

I loved that despite the weather people still brought their gazebos and enjoyed their picnics overlooking the beautiful lake, we’re hardy souls us Brits. 🙂

Click through to see Tideswell Male Voice Choir’s next events or you can see photos from last night on their Facebook page .

My next shows with the choir are on 8th November at The Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield, Derbyshire and 9th November 2014 at Buxton Opera House: ‘Never Forget’ A Remembrance Spectacular. Tickets