How long have you been engaged with Opera Queensland?
I joined Opera Queensland’s Young and Developing Artist Program more than ten years ago after having been blown away in a coaching session with the company’s incredible Head of Music, Narelle French. Learning and teaching comes very naturally to me and I relish in any chance to make music with new and diverse communities.
What is the most rewarding part of teaching people to sing and gain confidence performing?
There is a special relationship that exists between a teacher and their singing student as they are both sharing such an intimate, personal part of themselves – their voice. Working with a singer to grow in confidence is exciting, but to witness the person truly embrace themselves as an artist is incredibly rewarding.
You are facilitating our upcoming Vocal Workshops. Who do you encourage to attend the workshops?
Opera Queensland’s workshops are great for music teachers, speech therapists, and choral conductors and many return to share how their own choirs or private singing students have also benefited from the knowledge they have gained.
We work closely with Education Queensland to assist music teachers with claiming their professional development days and remain in contact after the workshops to ensure they are supported and advise for future opportunities for them and their students.
What can participants expect from the Workshops?
Our primary aim in these workshops is simply to help you sing to the best of your ability in a safe, and judgement free environment. We want you to bound out of the Opera Queensland Studio after the workshop confident and empowered to take on the world.
What is your advice to help participants prepared for the workshops?
Workshops are tailored to the experience and chosen repertoire of each of the singers participating in them, always with plenty of time set aside for one-on-one tutelage and solo performances. In the Contemporary workshop we work on characterisation, communication and storytelling, while in the Classical workshop we drill down on language and dictation to the benefit of your interpretation of the piece. In both workshops we also address the fundamentals of how to work with an accompanist.
What should participants take into consideration when choosing their repertoire?
We want to work with you on a piece of music you already love performing but we will help you to interrogate its musicality to perform it with greater confidence and ease. Choose a piece of music that you are familiar with in a key that suits your voice. Importantly, if your chosen song is not in English be sure to bring a word by word translation so we can work together to unpack meaning and phrasing.
What will participants gain from attending a workshop?
Participants will have their vocal concerns addressed, will learn some new skills, and leave with a renewed sense of confidence in their abilities as a singer. As we know, singing is holistic. It comes from within us, we use emotions and not only technique.