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opera singers

(28 Posts)
NewLife4Me Sun 30-Aug-15 21:08:31

I am trying to find some opera/crossover female singers who would make good role models.
I don't mean the manufactured Cowell lot, but those who have worked over years to get where they are.
I know that to a certain extent they are all moulded when they get recording deals, but for now would like to hear of those who have paid their dues.
Any suggestions and info on a particular person gratefully received.

Ferguson Mon 31-Aug-15 19:12:03

Why do you need this information, and how do you propose to use it? I am suspicious.

NewLife4Me Mon 31-Aug-15 22:36:15

It's for my dd she is a mini opera singer and is looking as well as most people who have an interest in her music.
She wants to find some biographies but doesn't know any names to search for them
She wants to be able to talk to her peers about it, those that are also into opera.
Honestly, no need to be suspicious, she just lives opera and other music. grin

Littlefish Mon 31-Aug-15 22:39:19

How old is your dd? Are you looking for someone current?

NewLife4Me Mon 31-Aug-15 22:44:58

Hello Littlefish.

Yes somebody current not Charlotte Church or KJ, somebody probably working but not famous yet.
I was thinking somebody from an opera company.
She knows all the main ones but would really like to know about a recent maybe yet to be discovered who has worked hard and gaining popularity.
She is only 11, but all peers are singers/musicians too.

silversmith Mon 31-Aug-15 22:57:46

In the Very Established category - has she come across Joyce Di Donato? Fab role model and has very active Twitter & Instagram accounts.

claraschu Mon 31-Aug-15 23:02:16

When you said role model, I immediately thought of Marion Anderson. Here's a quote from Wikipedia. She is not current, but she has an interesting story. She was an amazing singer too:

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.

NewLife4Me Mon 31-Aug-15 23:02:20


Yes, but only on youtube. What a great idea will get her to check out social media. I hadn't thought of this as yet I've been a bit cautious.
We are going to try to take her to the theatres more so this may help her have something current to talk about too.
The greats are fantastic but if they are older like most greats or even dead they are obviously not accessible to today, obviously their music lives on.
I knew nothing about opera until a couple of years ago. grin

NewLife4Me Mon 31-Aug-15 23:04:00

Thanks Claraschu very much appreciated.

silversmith Mon 31-Aug-15 23:11:33

Where (roughly) are you based? London is of course spoiled for choice in the arts scene, but Welsh National Opera tour widely & are fantastic, and Opera North is equally wonderful. It's worth seeing opera 'large' to get the full effect.

Ferguson Mon 31-Aug-15 23:48:03

What other music activities does she do besides singing; does she play any instruments, or know the basis of simple music theory?

Is she doing plenty of music via her school, or clubs, choirs, county choirs or ensembles etc?

Also, to get started it might help to widen the field beyond 'opera' - such as stage and musical theatre. She can always come back to opera later on. Does she have a reliable singing coach who will take care of her voice, which I gather can be vulnerable in younger singers.

NewLife4Me Mon 31-Aug-15 23:57:04

We are close enough to Opera North, so will take the opportunity to visit now.

Ferguson she is G&T music and attending a ss music school soon.
Have name changed but posted a lot.
It's just that she is a sponge, maybe likely to slow down at some stage but not yet.
Her appetite is insatiable and she is constantly doing something musical, but her love and ambition is for opera atm.
She does like musical theatre but even here she prefers Sondheim to anyone else.

Littlefish Tue 01-Sep-15 10:13:59

I agree with Ferguson about the need for a very good singing teacher who will "protect" her voice at this young age. Be careful with musical theatre as it can be a different singing style which if not managed carefully, can be damaging to young voices.

NewLife4Me Tue 01-Sep-15 10:39:11

Thanks for the advice it's good to see that people are flying the flag for learning correctly rather than pushing the voice.
She is going to have the best teachers, is so lucky and has gone as far as she can now without professional input.
Atm it's just finding the role models and looking at recent singers, so she can talk to peers and teachers, and not sound unknowledgeable.
The sort of fitting in bit of a new school and being able to add comments in discussion.
There are some great examples above, she said thank you and will have a good look after her lesson today.

Maestro Tue 01-Sep-15 13:36:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maestro Tue 01-Sep-15 13:37:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlefish Tue 01-Sep-15 13:42:02

NewLife - if you are in the North, have a look on the website of the Royal Northern College of Music. They may well have opera performances which members of the public can attend.

NewLife4Me Tue 01-Sep-15 14:00:37

Thanks again for the brilliant comments.
It will be interesting to see what they do with her voice tbh.
There are several grade 7 and 8 pieces she is tackling with ease but not obviously consolidated at that level yet, although at her audition they said it wouldn't be long.
She has done a few Purcell pieces and atm is quite fond of G&S as well.
Next week it is taken out of our hands but she is adamant she doesn't want to come across as not knowing much when she talks to teachers and her peers who seem much older. She said the few she met were very supportive though and offered to accompany her when she had her scheduled practice.


We have been to a few at RNCM, we like these as they are cheap or free. It may be difficult getting to others unless they are during a time she is home from school.
I was looking at the touring shows at Lowry but some are only one or two dates. There seemed like a good one in November, I'm hoping to book for this if I can afford it. grin
I asked her about Kiss Me Kate but she didn't want to go, I'd love to see this production.

Maestro Tue 01-Sep-15 14:37:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littlefish Tue 01-Sep-15 17:58:12

NewLife - it sounds like your dd is abut to embark on a really exciting phase in her education.

I absolutely do not want you to think I am being critical, I would just urge caution in giving your dd grade 7 and 8 pieces to sing. Even if she is able to learn them easily, the pieces are not designed for such young voices and may encourage her to use her voice in an inappropriate way. There is such a lot of lovely repertoire available for younger voices that it isn't necessary to race up through the grades in order to sing challenging repertoire in a range of styles. smile

Maestro Wed 02-Sep-15 00:07:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NewLife4Me Thu 03-Sep-15 18:06:09


I quite understand and know you are talking sense.
This has been a huge problem up until recently, she just sings so much and is really needy.
I'm sure they will slow down now in terms of grades and maybe concentrate on exams for piano or woodwind.
I can't see how much more they can do tbh apart from obviously improve on what is there already.
The main issue I have now is helping her find lots of interesting things to talk to the 6th formers and other older dc that includes singing and opera.

grin there's only a few G&S at the intermediate level she has looked at
Things like The sun whose rays, buttercup and another couple I forget.
Atm she likes Green Finch and Linnet Bird and the German lyrics to Brahms lullaby, forget the title, but she sings it lovely. (Weigeneld) maybe?

Thanks for all the lovely suggestions and comments.
Can anybody suggest a good song to audition for a chamber choir? grin

dotdotdotmustdash Thu 03-Sep-15 18:14:02

My Dd16 is also and aspiring opera singer. She's been involved in the junior section of a National Opera Company since she turned 14 and loves it. She's had some amazing experiences with them. She's also in the National Youth Choir (not England) and in our County Opera Society.

A tricky song she sang recently is called 'The Pipes of Pan', a song written in the early 20th century for Lionel Monckton's 'The Arcadians'. If you search on Youtube you should find my Dd singing it at a school concert.

NewLife4Me Thu 03-Sep-15 18:28:39

Ah, thanks dot.
I will have a look, your dd sounds great, she must really love it.

NewLife4Me Thu 03-Sep-15 18:34:16

Wow, what a confident young lady. I added a nice comment, hope that's ok.
Maybe a bit much for dd yet, she could manage a bit but not all of those runs grin but your dd is amazing. You must be so proud. thanks

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