It’s finally time for me to step into my big girl’s shoes! From one heroine to another, some 10+ years later I am finally singing on the main stage as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and leaving Anne Trulove from the Rake’s Progress behind in the Weston studio. I’m switching Welsh National Youth Opera for Welsh National Opera and I couldn’t be happier.
I first auditioned for WNYO in 2006, which is the first time I was associated with the company. It was there that I performed my very first operatic role with Tim Rhys Evans conducting and Miriam Bowen, coaching me through my musical paces. What a training ground it was for me. I was so thrilled to have successfully auditioned for an operatic youth company and I would travel every weekend from London, where I studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, back home to Wales to be involved in my very first opera in my very first leading lady role. I was only 19 at the time and WNYO was a great way of getting to know the ‘etiquette’ of how to prepare a role. I still to this day pencil in the beats of the rhythm on every page of my score…that’s all down to Miriam Bowen’s nurturing guidance and thorough preparation for making sure the specifics were always there in the basic foundation of when you first begin to learn a role, no matter what it is.
Cardiff Singer of the World
Natalya and Bryn Terfel
Stepping out of Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio and into the shoes of a professional opera singer on the Donald Gordon main stage has been a huge developmental arch for me. Since singing at WNYO, I have graduated from Music College, represented Wales in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, reaching the song prize final! I have completed two further years of training at the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio in Texas and finally landed on my feet back in the UK, with lots of role debuts in various houses within the UK, America and Europe. It’s a wild dream that I appear to be living and really… I still feel like the little girl from Morriston, stepping onto the train from Swansea to London Paddington to audition for music colleges.
My experience of the mainstage company has been just as wonderful as I remember the youth company to have been. It’s truly unbelievable and I have to pinch myself when I am walking, somewhat familiarly throughout ‘scenery street’ (the backstage area of WNO/WNYO) Everyone is so kind and supportive and it truly feels like being ‘home’ once again. WNO is a company that I hold very close to my heart and I am thrilled to sing, once again for my home audience as a fully fledged, professional Opera singer! Thank you!
Main image: WNO Eugene Onegin
Eugene Onegin review:
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