Archives For Don Giovanni

Opera Scenes At The RCM

February 5, 2017 — 37 Comments

I have had another exciting Friday this week, with my second round of opera scenes. This week I had the challenge to play a flirty Zerlina in Don Giovanni, which was quite different to last week’s Flora.

It was a challenging scene for me as my wonderful director Elaine Kidd pushed my partner Christian Adolph and me to be truly in the moment and acting as if for the camera. We had to constantly have sub-textual thoughts, be accurate with the music and listen constantly to the other in order to keep the text alive and spontaneous. I also had to experiment with intimacy on stage which pushed my boundaries as an actress. Previously I had played Zerlina as a sweet and innocent country girl whereas on this occasion I was asked to think of her as a cheeky social climber.


Me, Elaine Kidd our Director and Christian Adolph

It made me realise how flexible an artist needs to be with their interpretation of a character and how they can be molded around period/situation and insight. In the rehearsal process, we did a lot of improvisation, and I enjoyed the challenge of having to re-create the character and seeing how she might react in different mindsets.

I really enjoyed the process and will continue to approach my acting in this style and use the experience to enrich my future performances. I also learned some great tips for checking in with the conductor for tempo changes and entrances of melodies from the fabulous Natalie Murray – which will certainly make my life easier and enable me to be more flexible on stage.

However, having enjoyed this experience twice in a short space of time, it has made me once again so thankful for all the help of the wonderful backstage team! Without them I certainly would not have got my dress on, hair done, be visible on stage or met my queues to be prepared for the stage. They are all wonderful, and I’m so grateful for all their help.


Chris, Me, Laura and Ellen

Performing alongside such a fabulous group of singers here at the RCM has been such a rewarding opportunity for me. We all had such a great time and I have to say a special thank you to both Ben Smith, as my “Masetto” and Christian Adolph, as “Don Giovanni” who made both the rehearsals and the final performance so much fun.


The Whole Cast

Some pictures taken by Ben Durrant during the rehearsals.

Some pictures taken by Juliette Lozano

It was such a pleasure to see Hilary in the audience and meeting Cate and her sister Alexandra after the show. I kicked myself for not asking my parents to take a picture of us for my blog.  It was such a boost to see their friendly supportive faces in the audience after years of communicating here on my blog.  Thank you 🙂

Next week I will be singing again but this time as part of a celebration of the music of Carl Maria von Weber at the RCM on Sunday 12th February at 2:30 pm. You can buy tickets for the concert at the RCM website.


Happy New Year For 2017

January 1, 2017 — 84 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas or winter festive period, and that the New Year brings you success, happiness and good health.

Over the past few days I have been so grateful for the fabulous time that I have shared with my family and friends, the delicious food and sublime cakes and I now feel like a happy hamster who has stuffed her cheeks full for the upcoming months (especially on a looming student budget). I feel revived and refreshed for the challenges ahead and I can’t wait to get stuck in and share my next experiences with you.

College starts up again on Tuesday 3rd of January with rehearsals for the upcoming Opera Scene Showcases. I am really excited to have been selected for two scenes! I will be performing the role of Flora in a scene from ‘The Turn of the Screw’ by Benjamin Britten on the 27th January 2017. Then on 3rd February 2017 I’ll be performing the role of Zerlina alongside my dear friend Christian Adolph, playing Don Giovanni in a scene from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”. Both performances will be included in an evening of opera scenes performed by students of the RCM International Opera School which start at 5:30pm in the Britten Theatre at the RCM. The events are ticketed but they are free to the public, so if you are in the area it would be lovely to perform to some friendly faces.

I would love to hear what you are looking forward to in the new year! Whether you are planning a trip away or contemplating trying something new. Thank you so much for all your support last year and for taking the time to enjoy this adventure with me.


Visiting my Pepa 


So Much Fun Relaxing With My Mum And Tom ( My Brother )


I Just Loved Finding This Pub In Rochester, Kent


I Know These Dolls From The V&A Look A Bit Creepy But I Quite Like Them


And I Thought I Was Flamboyant, Great Decor From The V&A 


Great Christmas Baubles In The Trees At Seven Dials


Magnificent Evening At The Sadlers Wells Theatre Watching Matthew Bourne’s “The Red Shoes” Ballet, A Brilliant Performance


I Just Love This Time Of Year, Especially When You Share It With Family And Friends

Last night after a busy rehearsal schedule the Opera Britain production of Don Giovanni had it’s first performance.  Throughout the day we had busied ourselves as everything came together and the production took on a life of it’s own.  When you are caught up in it all sometimes it is hard to envisage how the final production will appear to the audience.  It is such an exciting experience and one that ceases to amaze me as the concepts put together by the Director, in this production Conleth Stanley, start to take shape around you.

The musical accompaniment provided by Jonathan Ellis was wonderful and we were all kept in line musically by the talented Tom Newall who as conductor brought the show to life.

My fellow cast members were:

Don Giovanni – Lewis Dillon
Leporello – Darwin Leonard
Donna Anna – Lorna Rushton
Donna Elvira – Heather Heighway
Don Ottavio – Catalin Lazurka
Masetto – Matthew Mannion
Il Commentadore – David Palmer
and myself playing Zerlina.

Catalin Lazurka

Catalin Lazurka

Darwin Leonard.jpg

Darwin Leonard

David Palmer

David Palmer


Lewis Dillon

Lorna Rushton Niamh St John

Lorna Rushton and Niamh St John

Matthew Mannion

Matthew Mannion

Rochelle Hart

Heather Heighway


Some Of Our Wonderful Chorus


The Whole Cast


In Costume And Ready For Act I

I must a say a very special thank you to Jayne Wilson, Artistic Director and Dr Robert Alderson, Chairman, for bringing us all together for this amazing experience 🙂

Now as if by magic I hope this post publishes on time as I have set the timer and will be keeping my fingers crossed as I will be assisting with lighting in tonight’s production as Niamh St John performs the role of Zerlina.

An Evening Of Song

June 19, 2016 — 40 Comments

It is good to be back home for a few weeks whilst I prepare for Opera Britain’s production of ‘Don Giovanni’ in Bowdon, Cheshire. Especially as its Father’s Day and I got to spend some time today in the middle of a very busy schedule with my parents. There will be two performances of the opera as it is double cast, I will be performing the role of Zerlina on Saturday the 25th June in Bowdon alongside Matthew Mannion as Masetto and Niamh St John and Jakob Mahase will perform the same roles in Withington, Manchester on Sunday the 26th June.

The Cast Of Don Giovanni

Jakob Mahase, Matthew Mannion, Me and Niamh St John

The rehearsals are well underway and it has been great to meet up with old friends and make some new ones. Many of the cast are from DIT ( the Dublin Conservatoire ) and rehearsing with them is great fun .

It is wonderful to see the staging coming together under the watchful eye of Conleth Stanley and get a fabulous sense of the musicality of the production carefully conducted by Tom Newall.

As usual a big thank you to Jayne who is busy organising everything for us all.

Last night along with many other willing performers we took part in a Gala Evening of song to help raise money for the Company so that they can continue with the amazing work they do.


The Performers From The Opera Gala 18th June 2016

If any of you are in the area and can come along to support us we would love to see you there 🙂

Don Giovanni

If you want to check out the story of Don Giovanni you can get a flavour of it HERE

I’ve been friends with Karen Gadient on our blogs for several years now and it was wonderful to meet up with Karen and her husband David during their touring holiday of Scotland  whilst they were in Glasgow.  She is just as lovely in real life as she is on her fabulous art blog check it out HERE.


David and Karen Gadient with Me In The Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow


Last night at the gala fundraising evening hosted by Bowdon Festival Opera I had a fabulous time catching up with friends, spending time with my family and performing alongside a group of singers brought together for the event from around the UK and Ireland.

To open the evening’s performance, I was accompanied by the festival chorus and performed two of Gretel’s arias from Englebert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel”: Ein Männlein steht im Walde and Abendsegen (Evening Prayer).

It was great fun to perform these arias again especially with the chorus providing an English translation of ‘The Evening Prayer’. In a packed program I also enjoyed performing in the second half of the evening along with vocalists singing excerpts from Dido and Aeneas; Macbeth; Don Giovanni and many more.

The evening was a great success and I am so pleased that I could play a part in it.  It’s so expensive to put on an opera production that without the support provided by these fundraisers it would be impossible to do, so I must pass on a big thank you to everyone that came along and especially to all the people who organised the evening. As Jayne explained during her final speech, many festivals and music groups don’t get the financial support from Lottery funds or Art Grants so it was great to see the local community support the event, it was also wonderful to see so many new students participating in the evening and the progress they are making.

Today after a few hours with my Mum and Dad I have the long drive back up to Glasgow, so I can only manage a short post tonight. Thank goodness the clocks went back last night and I gained an extra hour.

October Concert

October 4, 2015 — 57 Comments

One thing that I have learnt over the past three years as a performance student is the importance of keeping a diary 🙂    I work hard to try and stay organised as we have to juggle our studies with performance opportunities.  Some we take part in through College and some we find ourselves externally, they are such an important part of our development as they provide us with the chance to connect with an audience.

Last June I was asked by my old singing teacher, Jayne Wilson who taught me at high school to take part in a production of “Madama Butterfly” for Bowdon Festival Opera.  I had a fantastic time with everyone involved and was thrilled to be invited back to take part in their production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” next year.  I have been asked to take on the role of Zerlina which is a fabulous way for me to start summer 2016.


To help raise the money needed by  the organisers to put on the production they will be holding a gala fundraiser on Saturday 24th October and I will be joining other soloists to provide an enchanting evening of opera arias.  I will be performing arias from “Hansel and Gretel” from the role that I performed whilst in Italy this summer.

I am looking forward to the evening as I get to sing alongside some brilliant performers and as a bonus I get to spend the weekend with my Mum and Dad 🙂

A quick link to my blog post about Zerlina’s aria


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Vedrai, Carino is sung by the character Zerlina, a peasant girl and the fiancée of Masetto.  It is from Act II, scene 1 of the two act Italian opera ‘Don Giovanni’ the music by the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who composed over 600 works, and the libretto was created by the Venetian Lorenzo da Ponte, who wrote the libretto for 28 operas including three of Mozart’s greatest operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte.


The Original Poster/Bill For The Premier In Prague, 1787.

The opera ‘Don Giovanni’ premièred in 1787 it was billed as drama giocoso a mixture of serious and comic action.

The main character roles are:

Don Giovanni, a young, promiscuous nobleman; performed by a baritone

Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant; bass

Il Commendoratore (Don Pedro); bass

Donna Anna, the Commendatore’s daughter, betrothed to Don Ottavio; soprano

Don Ottavio; tenor

Donna Elvira, a lady abandoned by Don Giovanni; soprano

Masetto, a peasant; bass

Zerlina, Masetto’s fiancée; soprano

In a very brief synopsis in the first act during Masetto and Zerlina’s marriage procession Don Giovanni having admired several of the girls in the party is immediately attracted to Zerlina and he tries to remove the jealous Masetto by offering to host the wedding celebrations at his castle, Masetto is forced to leave on a pretext by Leporello and Don Giovanni’s seductive wooing of Zerlina is foiled when Elvira arrives and warns the girl against the rake, Elvira leaves with Zerlina.  In a garden outside Don Giovanni’s palace Zerlina tries to pacify Masetto singing Batti, Batti” to him (beat me beat me, handsome Masetto as long as we make up) she manages to persuade her husband of her innocence but just then Don Giovanni from off-stage frightens her, Masetto hides to watch how they are together.  Don Giovanni renews his flirtation and tries to take Zerlina aside but goes to the place Masetto is hiding, he recovers quickly and persuades Masetto that Zerlina was just missing him.

Don Giovanni

Later that evening when all the guests dance Don Giovanni continues his advances to Zerlina, he tries to drag her away, when her screams are heard Don Giovanni tried to blame Leporello but Don Ottavio, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira threaten Don Giovanni and reveal the truth.

In the second Act Don Giovanni (disguised as Leporello) is trying to seduce Elvira’s maid serenading her with his mandolin.  Before he can complete his seduction Masetto and his friends arrive searching for Don Giovanni intent on killing him.  Don Giovanni still in disguise convinces the gang that he also hates Don Giovanni and joins in the hunt. He then cunningly gets rid of Masetto’s friends and manages to take Masetto’s weapons away, he then beats him and runs off laughing.

The scene is a dark courtyard in front of an Inn, Masetto has been badly bruised and beaten when Zerlina finds him and asks what happened.  He explains and Zerlina promises to heal him with her love if he’s good (Vedrai, Carino), lovingly tending his bruises, admonishing him for his jealousy and takes him home to comfort him.

If you want to know what happens to the young, arrogant Don Giovanni who abuses and outrages everyone else in the cast then I don’t want to spoil it for you, you’ll have to go to watch. 🙂

This video was recorded on Valentines Day 2014 in Bury, Lancashire and is also the second track on my album Canzoni D’Amore .

Since recording this video I have done quite a lot of work on understanding and interpreting an aria not only through my vocal performance but also by using acting, gestures and working with a partner. This term in performance practice Nathan Jenkins, a tenor from my year lay down on the floor whilst I sang this aria to him and it helped me to visualise the performance of the scene much better and I hope this will help me to portray the characterisation in future performances.

It is always hard to know exactly how much acting,movement and gesturing to use whilst performing operatic arias in a recital, it is a balance that I am developing as I don’t think that dropping down to my knees and singing this aria would have the same impact in a church recital 🙂