I have decided to start a blog chaptering my preparations for being “Miss England” at Cardiff Singer of the World 2007. I hope you enjoy it!
As I write I am on the train on the way back from the launch of the 2007 competition in Cardiff. What an occasion! The 2005 winner, Nicole Cabel was there along with lots of important people. Two other competitors were also there: Miss Wales, Sarah Jane Davies and Mr Brazil, Luciano, as well as a previous Mr Wales, Gwyn Hughes Jones. It was great to meet them all (I already know Sarah Jane from ENO though) and glean bits of advice for the competition. Gwyn’s advice was to make sure I am thoroughly prepared, so I thought I would tell you about my preparation plans and the fact that I have committed them to the web will help me with my goals!
Of course, the number one thing I need to do is learn all my pieces. I’ve planned a run through very soon -2nd March at a recital in Suffolk, so I have to learn the music for the pieces I don’t yet know very soon indeed! Once I know them I want to take them to coachings with various people: language coaches for the French, German, Italian, Russian and Polish that I will have to sing in; a drama coach, Annabel Arden, to work on my performance; my singing teacher, Lillian Watson; and various musical coaches including Audrey Hyland, Roger Vignoles, Michael Pollock and the various coaches we have at English National Opera, where I am on the Young Singers’ Programme. Phew! That’s quite a lot. I am trying to organise a Residency in Aldeburgh as part of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme to do some solid work on things in April.
Many people would think that once I’ve done the musical side that’s it. Well, there’s a whole other side to things too: presentation. They say the camera adds 10 pounds and I am a bit overweight anyway, so I want to lose at least a stone and a half before the competition. One of the main things about this is to be fit and healthy as singing requires enormous stamina and I need to be in peak condition, rather like an athlete. As a singer you have to be careful how you lose the weight, as if you lost weight too quickly, you lose all your muscle which is crucial to a singer. I need to make sure I lose fat and not muscle, so I need to mainly lose my weight through exercise. A while ago I ran a half marathon and really enjoyed running, so my plan is to go for a 30 minute run in the morning 5 times a week. There, I’ve said it. I’ve made my pledge and now I have to stick with it, and hopefully having said it so publically will make me do it! I’m not going to tell you what weight I am, but I will tell you how much I lose!
I also need to sort the thorny problem of the dress. Looking good is all part of the package, so I need a fantastic frock to launch me with style into the competition and the frockwatch pages of the website! I have a few lines of enquiry to follow about this, so I will keep you posted.
I’m going to try and update the blog every few days, so keep tuning in for more updates!