Dear Friends and Family,
It has been awhile since I last wrote with an update on things happening in London so hope you enjoy some of my news and developments.
It seems like a long time ago now but less than a month ago we had the performances of my final opera at Guildhall ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’. We were lucky enough to have Jonathan Dove the composer come to many of the rehearsals and also to work with Eilene Hannan on the English as they riskily decided to have no surtitles for the performances. Overall the opera was very well received as it was the first time a conservatoire had performed it. I have included some photos from the show – the Blue paint was very hard to get off every night and my elbows have only just come clean.
Glyndebourne chorus rehearsals started two weeks ago, I have moved from London to the beautiful town of Lewes (the main town closest to Glyndebourne).
I am living in a big house with my friend Josh, another singer from Guildhall – although there are lots of singers all scattered around the town.
We each have our own room and big living space but share the house with an older couple. I’m very glad I chose to live in Lewes as it makes it possible to go in early to practice and also spend time with all the other singers (however in saying that, it is just over an hour to get back into London by train so will be going back most weekends to keep singing lessons up).
The first opera I am a part of is Eugene Onegin – last week the main challenge was working on all the Russian but it has all come together very quickly and the sound is very impressive already. Shortly we will begin work on La traviata (where I will be covering one of the small roles ‘Annina’) and then later on Don Giovanni.
A few days ago The Royal Opera House announced the coming season for next year. I have been giving some nice little roles that will allow me to ease into the intense year coming up.
My biggest role will be singing Giulia in Rossini’s ‘La scala di seta’. This opera won’t be on the main house stage but is a chance to perform with the other new Young Artists and with orchestra. I have already started working hard on this role as Giulia rarely leaves the stage and the role involves a fair amount of coloratura (fast passages of notes), which my voice is currently not particularly attuned to doing!! I’m feeling very motivated to develop this technique as I think if I can master this role a whole new area of repertoire will be opened up to me and I also want to make a good first impression.
For the Opera house main stage I’m very excited to be singing Papagena in Die Zauberflote and will also be one of the ‘Girls’ in The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny.
The roles that I will be covering include Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, Oskar in Un ballo in maschera and Jemmy in Guillaume Tell – there are a lot of big names singing the lead roles in these operas so will be great to see them at work.
Here is more information about the season if of interest: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/opera-and-music-201415
Just before heading to Glyndebourne I had the Jette Parker Induction week. The other 4 young artists selected had come from all over to be there; it was a funny experience to be the only girl with four extremely tall boys but I’m sure I will get used to it 🙂 It was also nice to see the two other Australian’s Sam and Sam who I know well from my time with the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust
We launched straight into a week of sessions to give us a taste of the various coaches and services we have access to – now and for the rest of our lives!
Over the week we were involved in sessions including Stage Fighting, Media and Interviews, Stagecraft, Movement, Alexander technique, Vocal Coaching with a number of regarded teachers (including Yvonne Kelly), and Mind Skills – which I found particularly interesting as the woman taking the session is able to help with things from organisation, to calming nerves, building adrenalin and switching off after performances to fall asleep.
So far I am loving my first real taste of singing work – although sometimes it’s hard to think of Glyndebourne as work when you are singing in such a beautiful environment.
Hope all of you are well, and would love to hear any news from back home.
The Trust are thrilled for Lauren and for the two Sams, Sam Sakker and Sam Johnson, for gaining 3 of the 5 coveted positions at Covent Garden. They will be joining Australian soprano Kiandra Howarth and stage director Greg Eldridge in the programme.
Photos are copyright to Clive Barda
We are thrilled to hear that Yelian He, Tait Awardee 2009, has been awarded the inaugural Australian Cello Awards. Congratulations Yelian. Yelian was the recipient of the Allen-Evans Scholarship, the Grand Prize of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition, the Audience Prize as well as the Sydney Symphony concerto prize.
It is our great pleasure to be able to let you know that Yasmin and I performed at the finals of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition on the night of 30th March 2014. We were incredibly fortunate and privileged to be selected by a jury of eminent Australian musicians as the Grand Prize winner as well as the recipient of the Audience Prize and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concerto Prize. (Yelian will be back in Sydney to perform a concerto with the Sydney Symphony in 2015/16)
Needless to say, we’re both over the moon – we both love Australia very much for it’s weather – people – and food. We thought you’d be interested to know as you are an important part of why we were able to achieve this, so thank you very much for your support and we look forward to being able to give you more good news as the time goes by.
Yelian & Yasmin, 2nd April 2014
More here from the Sydney Morning Herald
The website of the Australian Cello Awards