October was a very busy month for our new Young Artists as they continued their intensive training. This started off with a photo-shoot with celebrated photographer Sim Cannetty-Clarke, providing the artists with the fantastically dramatic group shot above, and strong selection of personal portraits and headshots for their self-promotion and to send to auditions.
During this week the Young Artists had stagecraft sessions with emerging American director Louisa Muller, working specifically on the interpretation of their core roles.
Thursday 13 October was the occasion of one of the first events of the National Opera Studio’s current season, held in the beautiful home of Bob and Elizabeth Boas. This event gave all of us, as current Young Artists, the opportunity to sing (or in the case of myself and my fellow répétiteurs, accompany) arias in a setting that was informal and welcoming. What was most remarkable, and indeed most wonderful, about the event was the rapt attention paid by the audience. In such an intimate setting, they provided us with an atmosphere of support and interest, something conducive to the very best performing conditions. Further testament to the great hosting skills of the Boas's was the reception held afterwards, during which we were able to speak with members of the audience. They ran the gamut of operatic experience – from seasoned opera-goers to those who had not previously encountered the art form. I’m sure I speak for all my colleagues when I say that there is a particular delight in speaking to new converts to the world of opera; they have such fresh, instinctive responses to the music they hear, and talking to them afterwards about how they had enjoyed our performances was deeply rewarding.
The concert coincided with Brindley Sherratt’s time at the NOS as this year’s Artist-in-Residence, and so we benefitted greatly from the privilege of having such an inspirational singer work closely with us during our preparations for this event. His masterclass and coaching sessions throughout the week provided much food for thought on so many aspects of our work as musicians; vocal technique, the importance of text, and the almost endless range of styles we must traverse on a daily basis.
You can see some candid rehearsal photos from 'Overture: Meet the National Opera Studio 2016/17 Young Artists' below. If you would like to join us for any of our future concerts, please do check our events page for details.