Starting off September with a musical bang, I spent a week at the National Opera Studio in Wandsworth on their “Opera Intensive” course. I had heard fantastic things about the coaching available and was very excited to take my three arias along for some intensive work!
I chose Susanna’s act IV aria from Le Nozze di Figaro, “Deh vieni, non tardar”, Anne Trulove’s scene “No word from Tom…I go to him” from The Rake’s Progress and the Governess’ Tower scene from The Turn of the Screw.
Sessions took the form of daily work with a répétiteur (I had the lovely Nicola Rose), music coaching (with Martin Pacey), movement (with Mandy Demetriou), interpretation (with Mark Shanahan), vocal coaching (with Della Jones) and finally staging an aria for performance in a concert at the end of the week (with Olivia Fuchs). We also had unlimited access to the National Opera Studio library, which was great for finding word-for-word translations of arias and scenes.
Covering so many different aspects of performance was incredibly rewarding: each session left me buzzing! I was perhaps most excited to work on continuity between thought, music and movement in the arias – and to have the opportunity to put this into practice before an audience of friends and peers.
The course was a brilliant experience in a very welcoming environment – and it was a real pleasure to perform alongside the other singers in the final concert. Congratulations to all who took part – and I hope to see you both on and off the stage again soon!