Last month, I was delighted to take part in a masterclass in association with the Hampshire National Singing Competition. The sessions were open to the public and took place in the beautiful Prior’s Hall, part of the Winchester Cathedral buildings.
The HNSC organises many events to encourage young peoples’ involvement with music throughout the year – in addition to the prestigious competition itself – with generous support from the Friends of Music in Winchester. I felt very lucky to be making use of these fantastic resources!
The masterclass was led by soprano Mhairi Lawson, Professor of Voice and Historical Performance Practice at Guildhall, with accompaniment from Tom Primrose. The repertoire performed was incredibly varied: from Monteverdi, to Handel, to Mozart, to Meyerbeer! Each of the seven singers received a twenty-five minute coaching session, working on various aspects of their chosen piece, including technique, intonation, characterisation and posture. I performed Juliette’s waltz “Ah! Je veux vivre” from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette – and was delighted with the way my session progressed. I felt like the aria had been given a new lease of life!
Lunch and afternoon tea was provided – again, by the Friends of Music in Winchester. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the Prior’s Hall looked particular spectacular in the autumn light! I greatly enjoyed chatting to the other singers and audience members and finding out more about the musical life of Winchester.
I found the day incredibly rewarding, both as a participant and as an observer; masterclasses provide such a brilliant learning environment. I would like to thank the wonderful audience for coming along and of course, Mhairi and Tom for their brilliant coaching. I hope to take part in further events with the HNSC again soon!