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Opera and cultural change: Is the system in need of a rethink?

by Elisabeth Meister and Stuart Pritchard The climate in which opera singers work is often one of powerlessness, fear, repression and anxiety: Powerlessness, because hiring decisions are outside their control, and even their ability to influence them is very limited. Fear, because the lack of ability to influence those making casting decisions leads to chronic work insecurity. […]

Cardiff Slimmer – update

Yesterday I published a blogpost on some comments made about one of the entrants to the Cardiff Singer competition. I’ve been reflecting on the situation, and have to admit I have some conflicting thoughts and opinions about it all. Over the last twenty years or so, a part of the opera world has become swept up in the […]

Cardiff Slimmer of the Year?

Apparently there’s some debate going on about fat people in opera. Cielo! I woke up this morning to an email from BBC Radio Wales, inviting me to come on the show to offer my opinion about a comment apparently made on Facebook by the son of a well-known opera singer.  It seemed he had made a […]

The art of auditioning

I have been a professional singer for over twenty years, and one thing I and my many hundreds of operatic colleagues have observed is that one of the most tricky things we have to negotiate in our profession is: Audition. There are two main types of audition we do: one to get an agent, and […]

De-fringing the ginge

Here’s a practical way you can get involved with my mop-crop to raise money for Macmillan Cancer: I am inviting six of you brilliant tweeters to come to a central London location next Thursday, 24th July, not just to witness me lopping off my locks but to actually get involved in the shearing yourself, without […]

Hair today…

There are times when we feel like doing something a little bit crazy, just to feel alive, or at least, a little bit important. In the past, whenever I’ve wanted to raise a lot of money very quickly for a worthy cause, the best way I’ve known how is to organise a team of crack […]

Big-boned and thick-skinned

When Irish mezzo Tara Erraught was hauled unceremoniously over the coals by critics for her physicality while performing the role of Octavian at Glyndebourne’s production of Der Rosenkavalier, it baffled and angered hundreds of opera singers and fans. What on earth does your body size have to do with how well you can sing? As […]

Unexpected La Monnaie debut TONIGHT!

Very excited to announce that I am making my La Monnaie debut tonight in the title role of Lucrezia Borgia. As I write, I’m hurtling through the French countryside towards Brussels on the Eurostar, having receive a phone call about four hours ago. I’ll write more when I’ve finished listening to Joan’s awesome recording. Until […]

No voices were harmed in the making of this production

It’s eighteen months since I left the ROH’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, and the learning curve that started back in 2009 is certainly still, well, curving.  With each new production I’m involved in, new lessons are learned and new observations made.  I suppose the biggest thing I’ve learned, which can ONLY be learned “on […]

Two weeks of touring: part 2

…So, after a nice, comfortable, though largely sleepless night’s journey from Dubai to Washington, Jen and I transferred, not entirely seamlessly (it took two hours to get from one plane, through security, find our luggage and re-check it, then go through further security) to Raleigh, North Carolina arriving, luggage-less at around lunch-time. Not knowing whether […]