A Cultural Trust grant meant I could take up the opportunity to travel both to London and New York for a total of three months, in order to undertake intensive vocal training led by the most distinguished and accomplished vocal teachers in each location.
The portion of my project undertaken in England included regular vocal tuition with Yvonne Kenny, as well as Linnhe Robertson, whom Ms Kenny recommended, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I also undertook regular language and pronunciation training in French repertoire, led by a specialist coach whom is currently working at the Royal Academy of Music.
There have been many benefits to my time spent studying in London and New York.
Firstly, the contacts I made during my time in both cities have the potential to be very helpful if I were to choose to work as an international performer, or to base myself in either city for a time. An impressive number of my newly made contacts are at the forefront of music making, organisation and education within both London and New York.
One of the highlights of my time spent abroad would probably be staying with Lauren Flanigan at the Music and Mentoring House. Being able to stay in a house with three different practice areas, limitless access to an extensive range of operatic scores and music books, the opportunity to meet and connect with other young singers, and an extremely generous and encouraging mentor who has worked at the top opera houses in the world was a wonderful experience.
I also had the chance to attend a performance of one of my favourite operas, L’elisir D’amore (The Elixir of Love), at the Metropolitan Opera whilst staying in New York City. This was an incredibly memorable night for me as Lauren Flanigan gave me the opportunity to sit with her in a premium box with the best view in the theatre, before taking me backstage at the conclusion of the performance. Being able to see behind the scenes at the Met was fascinating, and the chance to meet the leading lady of the opera, Pretty Yende, was a very exciting experience also.
Currently, I’m in the Young Artists Program at Victorian Opera, a position I secured upon auditioning after my time spent in England. This includes rehearsals and performances for VO’s production of The Magic Pudding, including a regional tour, as well as workshops for a new operatic work which they are commissioning, and possible work in the chorus for the second half of 2018. I was also contracted to perform with Teddy Tahu Rhodes at Sydney Town Hall in April, before commencing a short rehearsal period for a one month tour in China with Melbourne Piano Trio during May.