Tait Awardees to star in Opera North production of La Boheme

We are delighted to announce that #TaitAwardees, Lauren Fagan, and Samantha Clarke are to sing major roles in Opera North’s production of La Boheme later this year. Lauren is to sing Mimi, Samantha the role of Musetta.

Lauren Fagan
Lauren was generously supported by a grant from Trust donors, Michael Whalley OAM & Karen Goldie-Morrison for the duration of her advanced operatic studies in 2013 and 2014. This financial support assisted with her fees at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she was a member of the prestigious Opera Course. After graduation Lauren was offered a coveted place in the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House which gave her two years of training as a junior principal.

 

A review of her recent appearances as Alcina with the Handel Festspiele, Karlsruhe, Germany.

“Unusually for Europe, the two main roles were sung by Australians, up-and-coming soprano Lauren Fagan and the more established countertenor, David Hansen. Fagan was a convincing sorceress from the very start, with a strong rich soprano, inducing sympathy in “Ombre pallide” as her shades desert her, spitting venom in the trio “Non è amor” and finally collapsing as all conspire to defeat her. ” Sandra Bowdler, 25 February 2019. Bachtrack.com

Lauren Fagan, Alcina. Handel Festival, Karlsruhe 2019 ©Felix Grünschloß

Lauren’s website

Samantha Clarke
Samantha is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and is supported by a grant from Tait donor, The Thornton Foundation and is currently in her second and final year at the Opera School at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Samantha Clarke in the title role of Handel’s Theodora © RNCM

Samantha is also supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and was recently awarded the Nora Goodridge Developing Artist Award from the Australian Music Foundation
Samantha is a Baroness de Turckheim Scholar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

“There was no lack of chemistry between him and Samantha Clarke as a pure-toned and vulnerable Anne Trulove. Her Act 1 aria “Quietly night” (with Ana Docolin’s beguiling bassoon) and florid cabaletta (with a fabulous closing top C) were both wonderful – her traversal from despair to determination utterly convincing.”  , 06 September 2018 | Bachtrack.com

Samantha’s facebook page

Jessica Cottis to conduct ‘Monstrous Child’ at the Royal Opera House

Tonight Australian conductor (and Chair of the Tait Music Board) Jessica Cottis conducts the world premiere of Gavin Higgins and Francesca Simon‘s opera The Monstrous Child at the newly re-opened Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House.

Directed by Timothy Sheader, designed by Paul Wills, with singers Marta Fontanals-Simmonds, Daniel Shelvey, Rosie Aldridge, Tom Randle, Lucy Schaufer, Graeme Broadbent, and Elizabeth Karani, and the Aurora Orchestra.

The Monstrous Child is the first opera by Gavin Higgins, a young British composer with a reputation for boldly imaginative music. The text is adapted by bestselling author Francesca Simon from her own darkly humorous novel. Puppetry and the inspiration of the Norse landscape contribute to this theatrical spectacle about one teenager trying to find her place in the world.

To learn more about this production and book tickets click here

Jessica Cottis’ website

New opera by Luke Styles (Ned Kelly) opens in Perth

World premieres, certainly from an Australian standpoint, don’t come much bigger than this! NED KELLY, composed by Luke Styles with libretto by Peter Goldsworthy and given birth here by Lost and Found as part of the 2019 Perth International Arts Festival.

Luke Styles

Performed at the heritage listed No1 Mill at Jarrahdale the venue is an enormous 2 sided tin sawmill shed, and it is the first time this had been used as a performance space.

Samuel Dundas as Ned Kelly | Photo: Toni Wilkinson.

With an orchestra of 17 and instruments including banjo and branch of eucalyptus, the orchestra and performers were guided through this score (a fantastic melting pot of folk song and percussion) by the steady ever reliable hand of a proud Chris van Tuinen at the helm…..this was no easy feat given the barn like quality of the venue and distance between performers and players. The chorus, made up of singers from the community, sang and danced and seemed to be having much fun.

The cast did a mighty job! Amongst them, Adrian Tambourini was in fine voice as Joe Byrne, as was Fiona Campbell as Ellen, with other roles taken by Pia Harris, Robert Macfarlane and Matt James Ruben Ward. The role of Ned, is understandably big and Sam Dundas is towering and simpatico in the role. His voice is full and glorious in both sung and spoken text. I hope this opera is taken up elsewhere, it deserves to be and is an important addition to the Australian operatic canon….and everyone needs to see Sam as Ned. 

@lostandfoundopera #nedkelly @perthfest https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/ned-kelly

Written by Nicole Youl @NicoleYoulOperaSinger

Songhaven Concert in 10 DAYS!

The Tait is delighted to support the inspiring work of Songhaven, a dementia friendly concert series founded by a young Australian mezzo-soprano, and former Tait Awardee, Vivien Conacher.

Their next concert is at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge on Saturday 9th February. More below.

Hi all,

A friendly reminder that booking is now open for our next concert on Saturday 9th February at St Paul’s Knightsbridge.

I will be singing alongside my dear friend, the incredibly talented soprano Alice Privett. Alice has performed for companies including Longborough Festival Opera and Garsington Opera and has been a finalist in numerous prestigious competitions including the London Handel Competition and the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. We also have pianist Chad Vindin joining us again. Chad was the winner of the accompanist prize at the Royal Overseas League Competition and he is a real rising star of the piano accompaniment world, performing all over the UK and Europe!

For those who would like to know a bit more about the programme… we will be performing selections from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart, some Schumann lieder, Puccini, Lehar, Rossini, Gershwin and some familiar favourites we know you will love!

Hope to see you there! Booking information for all our upcoming events is below.

Viv 🙂

Saturday 9th February at 3:00pm
Songhaven at St Paul’s Knightsbridge

32A Wilton Place, SW1X 8SH 
(closest tube station Hyde Park corner – exit 4)

Concert by Alice Privett (soprano), Vivien Conacher (mezzo-soprano), and Chad Vindin (pianist) followed by afternoon tea.

FREE – BOOKING ESSENTIAL
ONLINE: febsonghavenknightsbridge.eventbrite.co.uk
PHONE: 020 7201 9999
EMAIL: knightsbridge@songhaven.co.uk

Saturday 9th March at 3:00pm
Songhaven at St Paul’s Knightsbridge

32A Wilton Place, SW1X 8SH 
(closest tube station Hyde Park corner – exit 4)

Concert featuring Claire Eadington (mezzo-soprano) and Sam Jenkins (tenor), followed by afternoon tea.

FREE – BOOKING ESSENTIAL
ONLINEmarchsonghavenknightsbridge.eventbrite.co.uk
PHONE020 7201 9999
EMAILknightsbridge@songhaven.co.uk

Saturday 30th March at 3:00pm
Songhaven at Lumen

88 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9RS
(closest tube Russell Square or Kings Cross St Pancras, street parking free from 1.30pm on Saturdays in meter spaces or on single yellow lines)

Concert hosted by Vivien Conacher with (performers to be announced), followed by afternoon tea.

FREE – SUGGESTED DONATION £5
BOOKING ESSENTIALONLINEmarchsonghavenlumen.eventbrite.co.uk
EMAIL: songhaven@songhaven.co.uk
VENUE/ACCESSIBILITY QUERIES ph: 020 7833 1080

Source: Songhaven Concert in 10 DAYS!

About Songhaven

Songhaven is a dementia-friendly concert series launched at the start of 2017. Founder Vivien Conacher, a mezzo-soprano opera singer, realised that there was a need in the London concert scene for inclusive and relaxed events that also feature professional, high calibre performances.

Songhaven concerts are a safe space where people living with dementia, their companions, carers, and family members can enjoy quality music making in an atmosphere of kindness, understanding and joy. At our concerts, we actively strive to make our audience members feel comfortable and free to be themselves. We warmly welcome singing and moving along to the music, without shame or shushing.

Songhaven concerts are a manageable 45 minutes in length, finishing with an audience singalong to a well-loved song. We then provide afternoon tea so that people can socialise with each-other, and the professional performers, and also make song requests for future concerts.

Songhaven is currently based at two venues in London, each hosting the series on a monthly basis on a Saturday afternoon. We have gained a large and devoted following at both locations, and a very real sense of community has formed due to the regularity of the events. Audience members come back time and time again, which means they get to know one another, and develop new connections based on a mutual love of music.

Songhaven aims to address the stigma and social isolation experienced by older people, people living with dementia, and carers. By catering to the specific needs of this group, we are able to create a positive space where people feel valued, connected to their communities, and respected. Great music & kindness are the magic ingredients, ensuring that everyone leaves a Songhaven event with a smile on their face.

SONGHAVEN AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
“one of the most lovely events I think I have ever been to”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a concert so much”

“you’ve brought some real joy and fun into our lives”
from a carer… “[her] condition has improved, in the sense that not only she recalls…but also she actually asks me when the next concert is taking place. We go over the songs, we sing together and she feels so happy that she has become part of Songhaven”

“a beautiful and entertaining afternoon”

“I loved every minute of it.”

“Fabulous quality… vivacious… such beautiful voices”

“impeccable standard of performance in an atmosphere of relaxed generosity, inclusivity and love.”

“My partner responds to music with his whole body and soul, so it’s wonderful to be in a space where his responses are welcomed and understood as appreciation and expressions of joy.”

[the event] “leaves us buzzing, feeling part of a community, and not isolated with the exhausting complexity of the impact of Alzheimer’s on us as individuals and as a family”

“What I like so much is the chance to hear superb musicians. What treat to hear excerpts from opera!”

“It was all very welcoming, everything explained in the introductions. Lots of favourites”

“Brilliant – so friendly and the beauty of the voices and the selection.”

“I loved the operatic bits. I don’t get to go [to the opera] as much as I’d like to, so this was perfect for me.”

“Beautiful and very professional”

“Beautiful and very inclusive, especially when they got everyone singing.”

“Singing is wonderful- even when the short-term memories are gone, you can still remember words from 40 years ago!”

“People come alive here… it’s a privilege”

“It made me smile and cry, very emotional… a wonderful atmosphere.”

“The way they performed was superb.”

Venue Partners:
Lumen URC (Bloomsbury), St Paul’s Knightsbridge (Westminster)

To find out more:
Visit our website songhaven.co.uk (to see photographs, filmed footage, upcoming concert dates, and to sign up to our concert announcements)

Contact Vivien: songhaven@songhaven.co.uk or 07576 318 456

Follow Songhaven on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/SonghavenUK

Twitter: @songhaven_uk

Instagram: @songhaven_uk

 

Community Interest Company Number: 11317064
Basement unit 3, 31-35 Great Ormond St, WC1N 3HZ, London, UK

If you have any questions about the concert or the Songhaven series, feel free to email songhaven@songhaven.co.uk or visit our website songhaven.co.uk

 

Andrey Lebedev, Classical Guitar | August 2018 Newsletter

Andrey Lebedev (2016-2017 Awardee) has enjoyed a busy few months with several exciting projects and awards to announce.

Andrey Lebedev

Highlights have been:

  • Awarded the inaugural New Elizabethan Award in duo with singer Lotte Betts-Dean. The prize includes a recital at Wigmore Hall on 9th February 2019.
  • Placing 3rd at the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition.
  • Realising Death Speaks, an innovative and ambitious concert project with singer Lotte Betts-Dean and the City Music Foundation.

If you’re interested in further information or would like to say hi, feel free to drop Andrey an email.

Cheers, Andrey.

To read Andrey’s newsletter click here

Tait Awardees, Rebecca Blenkinsop and Breanna Foad join English National Ballet

Below is an article recently published in Ballet News about Tait Awardee, Rebecca Blenkinsop. Rebecca has been supported by an award from the Tait funded by Australian Impressario, John Frost AM. We are delighted to see she has had such great success.

Good news come in twos as another Leanne Benjamin Awards recipient, Breanna Foad has also been offered a contract from the English National Ballet.

Breanna was born and lived on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia until the age of 14. She was then accepted into The Australian Ballet School, Melbourne Australia for full time ballet studies. In January 2016 Breanna auditioned for the chance to be accepted into the English National Ballet School in London and was one of only three Australians to be selected and offered a place. She then left The Australian Ballet School and started in September 2016 into 2nd year of a three-year full time course in London.

We are thrilled for them both!

From Student To Star | Rebecca Blenkinsop | The Royal Ballet School

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca Blenkinsop

From Student to Star is an interview series featuring graduates from vocational ballet schools as they begin their professional careers. The questions have been updated to reflect reader feedback; I hope you find them helpful.

Rebecca Blenkinsop, The Royal Ballet School, 2017, Credit: Johan Persson

Rebecca Blenkinsop, The Royal Ballet School, 2017, Credit: Johan Persson

You’ve been studying at The Royal Ballet School. When did you join the School and what made you decide to train there?

I joined the school in September 2015 and I decided to go there due to its renowned classical ballet training and it had been a dream of mine.

Prior to joining RBS, where did you train, and how early did you start ballet ?
Before I joined RBS I trained at The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School at the age of 11.
What do you think are the important things to focus on during training if you hope for a vocational career as a ballet dancer?

I personally believe during training that it is so important to focus on yourself and your own personal journey without comparing yourself to others, everyone progresses at different rates. Listen to your body and be aware of aspects of your training which you need to improve and focus on that. Also take advantage of any performance experiences that you get and cherish these moments as a chance to develop yourself as an artist. And finally never forget why you do what you do, find constant inspiration in other dancers around you and professionals that inspire you.

Have you entered any competitions during your training and if so, which ones, and what would you say about your experiences ?

In 2015 I participated in the Prix de Lausanne from which I was fortunate enough to receive a place at The Royal Ballet School. I have to say this was one of the best experiences of my life. I particularly liked the process of the competition as it gives all of the dancers an opportunity to be seen in classes throughout the week as well as onstage in a performance setting. I was lucky enough to make it through to the finals which was an incredible experience, although I must say I found dancing on the raked stage incredibly challenging as I was not used to working in these conditions; however I still really enjoyed the performance. I highly recommend this competition as it is a platform for students to be chosen by the best schools in the world.

Rebecca Blenkinsop and Harris Bell dancing Robert Binet’s Self & Soul. ©2018 The Royal Ballet School. Photographed by Tristram Kenton

Rebecca Blenkinsop and Harris Bell dancing Robert Binet’s Self & Soul. ©2018 The Royal Ballet School. Photographed by Tristram Kenton

You’ve accepted a contract with English National Ballet. Congratulations ! What was the process you went through to be awarded the contract and and when do you start work?

Thank you, I was fortunate enough to be seen by Tamara Rojo during ballet class at my school where she offered me a contract. I begin working at the beginning of August this year.

What do you know about English National Ballet & have you spent any time with them yet ?

I have seen the company perform multiple times in London and was amazed by the technical standard and performance of the dancers. I also love the company’s classical repertoire combined with many modern contemporary works. I have not yet spent any time with the company but look forward to starting the season.

What are you looking forward to about joining the company?

This season I am very excited to learn and perform in Manon, Swan Lake, Cinderella and Akram Khan’s Giselle. I am also looking forward to the international tours to Chicago and Russia. I love to travel and can’t wait to see many new places with the company.

How do you think company life will differ from your student days?

Obviously no more uniform which I am very excited about. In a company you have to draw from skills that you have learnt as a student to maintain and improve your technique as you do not receive feedback and corrections as often as in school. Also I am going to have to prepare myself for finishing late at night after shows, and performing constantly, which is very exciting.

What do you think you will bring to the company?

I hope to bring my enthusiasm and passion for dance to the company and wider audiences through my  performance.

How are you preparing yourself for your first professional contract?

Sewing lots of pointe shoes! But on a serious note as I have three weeks before I begin, I am going to the gym to complete a fitness program created by the sports scientists at RBS focusing on cardio, leg strength and abdominal work to maintain my fitness levels over the holiday period. I plan on doing holiday classes as well before the season commences.

What are you your best achievements as a student?

My best achievements as a student include being a finalist of the Prix de Lausanne, dancing Robert Binet’s Self and Soul on the Royal Opera House stage for the RBS end of year show and of course being offered a contract for English National Ballet.

Why ballet?

I love the technical challenges of classical ballet and the physicality of the art form. For me there is honestly nothing more rewarding than performing a piece on stage that you have worked so hard to achieve. I love the feeling of taking the curtain call and feeling proud of how I danced. I was also attracted by the beauty of the art form and how such complex movement can appear so graceful on stage.

Do you have a dream role and/or dance partner and if so what/who are they?

I have a few dream roles/works I would love to dance including Manon, Juliet, Aurora, After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon and Petite Mort by Jiri Kylian.

What would you say to students entering their graduate year ?

Work hard, stay focused and enjoy every opportunity you are given. In terms of auditioning for companies I would say to be confident in your abilities, make an effort to stand out and focus on yourself and not the other dancers in the room, and always remember you never know what directors are looking for so never give up on what you want to achieve.

Where would you like to be this time next year and how will you measure your progress over the year?

I would like to continually improve my technique, become a stronger dancer and to have enjoyed my first season as a professional dancer.

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Connor D’Netto awarded Tait Performing Arts Association award 2018

Connor D’Netto was selected by the our sister organisation in Australia, the Tait Performing Arts Association for their 2017/2018 award with funding going towards his continued studies at the Royal College of Music in London. This was presented to him by TPAA President, Isla Baring  OAM and Vice President, Diana Murray.

Support the Tait in Australia
Please support us and Join our Friends of the Tait Performing Arts Association.

Become a Friend of the Tait Performing Arts Association, – for an annual subscription of AUD$50.00 you will receive discounts on tickets for TPAA events, as well as an invitation to an exclusive TPAA Friends event. For further information please contact Robyn Hollands email: support@tait.org.au

Individual donations to TPAA are accepted by Pay Pal or cheque.

Please make cheques payable to the Tait Performing Arts Association Inc to:

Tait Performing Arts Association Inc.
P.O Box 2242
Kew Victoria 3101.

Luke Styles new song cycle | London première at Wigmore Hall

Tait Awardee, Luke Styles, former Young Composer-in-Residence at Glyndebourne is joined by principals of Britten Sinfonia,  and Tenor Mark Padmore, for the London première of a new song cycle set to poems by Australian poet, Les Murray, On Bunyah. The programme is crowned by Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge, which depicts rural life at a time when the First World War was drawing near.

Luke Styles (b.1982)
New work, On Bunyah (London première) [1]
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
On Wenlock Edge

[1] Co-commissioned by Britten Sinfonia with the support of donors to the Musically Gifted campaign, and by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, president of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grant-making foundation

“This new song cycle for tenor Mark Padmore (and the Britten Sinfonia in a chamber formation of string quartet and piano) set’s a series of 10 poems by Australian poet Les Murray, from his most recent collection, On Bunyah.

The cycle charts a loose narrative and progression of themes, where the tenor can be identified as a ‘poet farmer’ character. This central figure gives voice to many aspects of Australia (the bush, land, kangaroos, fire, death, machinery and the 20/21st Century) without sentimentality. The distinctive Australian flavour of this collection of poems embraces the similar experiences and challenges of other rural communities with the ‘poet farmer’ functioning as both a rural and modern day ‘every-man’.”          Luke Styles

Britten Sinfonia
Jacqueline Shave, violin
Miranda Dale, violin
Clare Finnimore, viola
Caroline Dearnley, cello
Huw Watkins, piano
Mark Padmore, tenor

Wigmore Hall, 21st of November 2018 at 1pm

Book for the concert here

Book for the free pre-concert talk by Luke Styles here

A recording of a live performance of Luke Styles’s, How they Creep
from the 2016 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square.

Jessica Cottis – Conductor
Alexandra Hutton – Soprano
Ashlyn Tymms – Mezzo Soprano
Tait Chamber Orchestra

 

 

Courtenay Cleary to study at Juilliard

Tait Awardee, Courtenay Cleary, Violin (2017) is a graduate of the University of Queensland and Australian National Academy of Music. She is about to finish her under-graduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music and is to give public recitals at:

Angela Burgess Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, NW1 5HT

Courtenay Cleary and Mihály Berecz
perform sonatas of Poulenc and Strauss
Monday May 21st, 7pm

Courtenay Cleary and Annabelle Oomens
perform works by Ravel, Martinu and Xenakis
for Violin and Cello.
Wednesday June 27th, 1pm

 

Courtenay recently represented Australia playing for the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace, and played solo Bach, again for the Queen, at Westminster Abbey in 2017.

 

We are delighted to confirm that Courtenay is to study for her Masters at the Juilliard School, New York City beginning in August this year. We wish her the very best and look forward to watching her career continue to blossom and grow.

In Conversation: Catherine Carby — Rehearsal Magazine

Australian mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby on Rossini, self-love and music preparation.

You’re currently performing with the English Touring Opera in Rossini: Fireworks! Can you tell me about your first experience with Rossini – how it came about and how your relationship with the composer has grown since your career began?

My very first experience with Rossini was singing Rosina in a touring production for OzOpera (the touring arm of Opera Australia) in 1998. On alternate nights I sang the chorus and played percussion onstage in the overture!

I think I’ve always been quite wary of Rossini. I’ve done a lot of bel canto (like Donizetti and Bellini) but felt that Rossini was a bit too specialist for me – too hard, too many runs, too light and high. Returning to it now after spending the first part of this year singing Monteverdi, it feels about right. I’d never say it’s easy and this particular concert program is a big sing for me (some long arias and a big chunk of Elisabetta for the finale), but it feels more “doable” than it used to.

How do you prepare your repertoire for a concert performance like this one? Does it differ from when you get ready to play a staged role?

I guess the trick with preparing a concert is how to “sell” a piece when you won’t have the luxury of costumes and sets and lighting. Also, the biggest hurdle for me is literally singing the pieces. In an opera, you might have four weeks of rehearsals in which to work out any technical problems and learn how to get around the “corners” of a piece. Hopefully, by opening night you’ve sung the tricky bits so often – under lots of different circumstances – that you can’t help but get it right. Concerts are not like that; chances are you might have a week (if you’re lucky) of music calls with the conductor and a pianist and then later with the orchestra. It’s a fast, short learning curve. The only way you can be really well prepared is to in fact be really well prepared!

For developing artists, how important is learning concert work alongside full roles? Do the skills you need for both translate easily to one another, or must you practice in the different styles of working?

Concert work still forms a very valuable (and lucrative!) backbone to my opera work. Learn all the “standards” (Messiah, Elijah, Verdi Requiem), as they will crop up again and again throughout your performing life. I’ve paid many a school bill or mortgage payment with Easter Bach Passion fees!

Stylistically, opera and oratorio aren’t necessarily a million miles apart. They both desire to tell a story and make the listener think and feel something. As all good music does.

Your studies began in Canberra at the School of Music, before you moved to the United Kingdom to pursue further training at the Royal College of Music. Can you tell me about that move and what it meant to you as a young singer?

Moving to the UK early on was a massive step for me. It enabled me to be seen in London regularly, and after I joined the roster of a big UK agency (IMG), I basically studied and worked solidly for 4 years, before I came back home to work for Opera Australia. It was great to be exposed to so much music at such a high level; we regularly got coaching from the best people in the industry even before we got to work for them, so there was a level of familiarity that I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed in Sydney or Canberra. I remember the first concert I ever went to in London was Anne Sofie von Otter singing Alceste at the Barbican – it really doesn’t get better than that!

Pursuing a career overseas is currently a goal for many young singers, but of course, a major move comes with both opportunities and difficulties. Do you have any advice to developing performers who wish to pursue further study outside of Australia?

Develop self-love! Seriously, this doesn’t mean having a big ego and thinking that you are awesome, but genuinely being kind to yourself and realising that you are human. It’s a very tough industry and there are a lot of knockbacks along the way. Even now I’m asked to audition for things and I may or may not get them. You have to learn to be happy in your own skin despite constant rejection. I’ve become a lot more philosophical about rejection as I’ve gotten older and learned that it’s not necessarily about me as a person or as a performer. Not everyone will love what you do and that’s ok.

You have performed roles all over the world, in houses from the Royal Opera House to Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon, and back home with Opera Australia. How do you look after yourself when you’re on the road and away from home for long periods? Do you have a moveable routine or do things change depending on your work and where you are?

When I’m away from home I try to maintain some semblance of normality. I take posh candles, pictures in frames and usually at least one baking tray with me! I walk a lot no matter where I am, so being in a new place just gives me new places to walk. I also do yoga either on my own or in a class, so this is often a way of meeting some “locals”.

Staying calm and focussed before performances and during preparation periods is much discussed for all musicians. Do you have ways of managing stress or “busy-ness” when things get hectic?

Definitely yoga and the meditative side that that involves. I’m a much calmer, happier, nicer person when I’m regularly going to a class.

I also need to be well prepared. I don’t like “winging it”, so I avoid ever having to live too dangerously in terms of the music. Preparation means less stress and less stuff that can go wrong. (That being said, I have done jump-ins and lived to tell the tale. Last year I was rung at very late notice to jump in for an ill colleague for the CBSO. Could I learn Juno and Ino from Semele in 3 days? Well, I did. But it did take several years off my life!)

Finally, if you could go back to the start of your career and give yourself a piece of advice about the industry you were about to join, what would it be?

My best advice would be to just go for it! Ask that person for a coaching, thrust your business card into that person’s hand. You only have one life and one shot at a career, so do it!

Catherine performing the title role of Iphigénie en Tauride for English Touring Opera. Photo by Richard Hubert Smith.

Source: In Conversation: Catherine Carby — Rehearsal Magazine