The Diverse Voices calendar continues to be very busy, and we are pleased to have expanded opportunities for young people in our home borough of Wandsworth. Part of this outreach work has included a series of small projects which introduce solo opera singing to pupils from local secondary schools. This project is designed to deliver three coaching sessions for each participant in preparation for a recital with one of our Young Artists. In November 2023, our coaches Tom Randle and Satoshi Kubo, and National Talent Programme Young Artist Moloko Letsoalo worked with pupils from Ashcroft Technology Academy and Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School. We asked some pupils to tell us about the experience – here is what they had to say:

Joining the coaching programme was a fantastic opportunity and I feel so lucky that I got to take part. From the 1-1 sessions that gave me confidence in my singing to the actual recital, the programme was very enjoyable. We also had the privilege of watching a performance of Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ from one of the NOS students Moloko Letsoalo (which was absolutely incredible!) and this was followed by a Q&A with Moloko where we were able to learn about her journey as a professional singer and take with us some amazing advice. The whole process was great for challenging myself, gaining more confidence in my solo singing, and learning how to better approach pieces in different/new languages. 
~ Heloise Roberts, Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School

5-year-old me would not believe that I would have the opportunity to train with coaches from the National Opera Studio – it was such a good experience! The coaches were kind and gave me great advice on areas that I felt needed working on, such as breath control. When we performed at the studio, everyone who was taking part in the Opera Training met and it was awesome to see what everyone was working on. We also got to meet one of the Young Artists, Moloko, who is training at the Opera Studio, and at the end of the recital, we were very lucky to hear about her experiences. I remember her telling everyone to continue singing, even if you do not plan to take music as a career. Ever since the opera coaching, there have been massive changes – not just in vocal techniques but also in confidence. I’m forever grateful to the NOS for giving me this opportunity to grow as musician. 
~ Jaden Bugnosen, Saint Cecilia’s Church of England School

We are really pleased with the engagement of all the singers and artists we are working with. The spring and summer are set to be very busy. This term’s activity will include a solo singing project with Bolingbroke Academy; 12 workshops for singers involved in Wandsworth Music Hub’s Brighter Sounds Concert (26 & 27 March); coaching and recording sessions for singers supported by Diverse Voices; and much more! 

Image: National Talent Programme Young Artist Moloko Letsoalo (Soprano) in a recital at the Studio © Richard Hubert Smith