Archives For My Performances 2020

I took inspiration this week from the videos of people sharing music on their balconies during the quarantine in Italy. I saw these videos on my Facebook newsfeed and I found them so moving and thought that they really celebrated community spirit.

On the Facebook group of our apartment block, there was a request to do something similar at our shared home. So, George and I said that we would be happy to get involved. One resident was worried that as everyone has different tastes in music that we should be careful not to disrupt the normally peaceful atmosphere. Our small community has families with young children, elderly residents and homeworkers so I thought this was a very thoughtful comment and so I suggested that we limit the live music time to after normal working hours and pick a date so that there is as little disruption to everyone as possible.

So last Friday, 27th March at 18:00 George and I were gearing ourselves up to take our electric piano onto the balcony and sing three songs:

  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow
  • Somewhere (West Side Story)
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone.

I must admit that I was a little nervous, I didn’t want to upset anyone so I tried to pick songs that I thought most people could connect with, whilst still sending a message of hope and togetherness. After all the people I would be singing to are my neighbours. But we thought it was time to be brave and try to do something nice for our community using the skills we have.

We set up and let rip. One by one, we saw windows open. People came out onto their balconies. One young woman in the courtyard who was on the phone began to share the experience with her loved one during their FaceTime call. There was a father dancing with his daughter. After we finished the first song, there was applause. It gave us the courage to continue and we started to perform our little hearts out. After the three songs, we were surprised to hear people ask for more and we said that we will try and perform again next Friday if the current situation doesn’t improve.

We were then surprised that our performance was filmed and shared by a few of our neighbours on our community Facebook group and this has allowed me to share this short video with you. Please continue to stay safe and healthy and know that you are each loved.

Keeping Calm and namaste greetings to you all from London, if you see me in person and wonder what the heck I’m doing I’ve adopted the new hands together bow of the head respectful gesture 🙏 – it’s called Añjali Mudrā.  I figured everyone has been told to cough and sneeze into their elbow if they don’t have a tissue rather than their hand so elbow bumping isn’t such a good idea.  My profession is very huggy and we often kiss on both cheeks but I’d hate the thought I’d passed on this flu virus to someone with a weak immune system, I’ve been boosting mine as singers often do whether there is a pandemic or not hehe.  If we get a bad cold with a sore throat we can’t work. It is fun to use this an opportunity to experiment with different greetings such as curtsying and saluting. Do you have any fun ways to say hello?

I’ve had two competitions canceled and a couple of bookings at risk so fingers crossed we get on top of this especially before our wedding in June! I’ve taken on some other work to pay the bills so for that I’m grateful! In my usual day today, I’m practicing and trying to maintain my coachings and lessons as usual.

I had a lovely weekend back up North staying with my family, whilst I performed in a concert in Skipton. I performed alongside Ben Crick as he conducted the Skipton Camerata. This orchestra was a great bunch, they knew how to create a relaxed atmosphere yet maintain a high level of quality and artistry. The theme of the concert centered around ancient stories and myths, which was well received by a friendly audience. My Dad, who was on camera duty at the back of the church, was particularly thrilled when people approached him just to say how much they’d enjoyed our performance, he was preening like a proud peacock all the way home.

Here are a few excerpts from the performance to give you a flavour of the concert.

Excerpt – Che farò senza Euridice – Christoph Williband Von Gluck

Excerpt – Ebben si vada, (Szene und Rondo) by J.C. Bach
Excerpt – Aria “Ah, t’invola” – Mozart

Excerpt – Cavatina “Deh, non varcar” – Mozart

I’m also celebrating this week as it’s my 7th WordPress blog anniversary. Thanks to WordPress for the reminder and to my blogger friends that have stayed the course with me over the years and to new joiners, welcome!

Have you learned any new tricks this past year on your blog or widgets that you think could be useful to me?

To close tonight I want to send you all my fondest wishes and hope that you all stay well, with coronavirus now running rampant all over the world remember don’t be scared be prepared and if you have to stay in keep in touch online 😊

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:

Adding A String To My Bow

February 16, 2020 — 61 Comments

This morning I had the delightful opportunity to turn pages for my Fiancé George Todica as he played alongside Maria Gîlicel (Violin) and Jobine Siekman (Cello) as they performed together as the Chloé Piano Trio. The concert took place at 11:00am this morning in the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. The aroma of coffee mixed with freshly baked flaky pastry oozing fruit jams filled the hall… ready to whet the appetite of the Sunday Go-Getters!

The Trio’s concert was sold out and 150 people came to hear Beethoven’s Second Piano Trio as well as two pieces by Lili Boulanger. George played on an outrageously vibrant red grand piano, which filled the room with lively energy. The Yamaha piano is a one of a kind and originally played by Sir Elton John.

The Big Red Piano – The Elgar Room – The Royal Albert Hall

Later that same day, we visited Lancaster Hall Hotel and attended the Schubert Society’s monthly concert with our friend Catherine. It was a great excuse to catch up and enjoy listening to a concert, which just happened to also feature a piano trio! It’s been quite a string feast today, but interesting to see how different musicians can create their own unique sound worlds yet start with the same ingredients.

This week I have been preparing for my upcoming recital at Alderley Edge Methodist Church where George and I will be performing on the 19th of February at 1 pm.  These lunchtime concerts that the Alderley Edge Methodist Church host help to support a variety of charities.  The designated charity for this month’s recitals will be Church Action on Poverty.

Here is a link to my most recent video just in case you missed it 🙂