Articles tagged with: Opera

OperaPLUS Nominated for Best Classical Music Education Initiative

UPDATE [17 December 2015]: Voting is now open! Please visit ClassicFM to vote for OperaPLUS as “Best Music Education Initiative”

Jackdaws OperaPLUS has been nominated in the Music Teacher Magazine Awards for Excellence in the category “Best Classical Music Education Initiative”. The award, sponsored by ClassicFM, is recognition of the incredible work this project has done to share high quality opera with children and young people in hard to reach communities across Somerset.

OperaPLUS was the first of many projects created and set up by Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg:

“It was borne of many different personal experiences which led to a great desire to bring about a combination of outcomes, namely that children and young people have a positive experience of opera and benefit from the well documented effects of participating in music. Young artists receive training and experience in community and education work, in a supported and career enhancing way and hard to reach communities have access to high quality opera in an accessible and affordable setting. It was also important to me that the operas came from the mainstream repertoire to give context to the varied, everyday use of this repertoire that the children and audiences hear in their daily lives.”

OperaPLUS is a key part of Jackdaws Music Education Trust’s work to enable creative expression by bringing music to life in an accessible, inclusive and inspirational way.

The project brings together primary school children and professional opera singers from Jackdaws Young Artist programme, to perform full length versions of well-known operas, sung in English. It is directed by Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg, with the musical direction of Audrey Hyland, Royal Academy of Music professor and vocal coach. The young, professional cast take the lead roles and the chorus’s and other roles are adapted for performance by the participating children, numbering up to 120 per performance. There are a series of workshops prior to the performances with the cast and director and then the cast and children perform alongside each other in accessible venues in the heart of their communities to large audiences, many of whom are new to opera.

OperaPLUS Stylist of Somerset

The Stylist of Somerset, OperaPLUS 2015

The first OperaPLUS production was The Magic Flute by Mozart in June 2010, with one performance in Frome, Somerset, involving three local schools. Since then, the project has developed year on year so that in 2015, OperaPLUS was able to present the most ambitious production yet. Working with 14 schools from across Somerset, Jackdaws delivered 5 performances of the Stylist of Somerset (Rossini’s Barber of Seville) in different areas throughout this rural country.

The production was featured on BBC Somerset Radio by Ben McGrail, who used OperaPLUS as an opportunity to ask the public what they thought of opera. The result was overwhelmingly positive which is reflected in the way it is received by the children and families who participate.

In 2016, OperaPLUS will continue to build on its past successes by presenting a production of Donizetti’s The Love Potion (L’elisir d’amore) with 5 performances including 18 schools. Each school will work with the cast and production team to prepare their music for the performance and are supported with a free set of resources including sheet music and recordings of their parts, all downloadable from the Jackdaws website.

OperaPLUS is supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, the Music Hub for Somerset and Arts Council England.

Jackdaws logoExternal Links

Music Teacher Awards for Excellence Nominations

ClassicFM

BBC Radio Somerset

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2015

Programme CoverThe 2015 presentation of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards was an exciting afternoon of music making. As always, the finalists presented recitals of the highest standard and were commended by the panel for the variety and diversity of their repertoire choices.

First prize went to Julien Van Mellaerts, who impressed the panel with his recital of Del minacciar del vento (Ottone) by Handel, Peter Wishart’s Henry and Mary, A Poison Tree by Britten and Mein sehnen, mein Wähnen by Korngold. It is especially impressive that Julien was a reserve place and only offered the opportunity to perform at 6pm on the evening before the final, when Oliver Johnston fell ill.

It was an exceptional year for the Vocal Awards, the finalists were all well prepared and offered really interesting programmes. The general standard was very high which made the adjudication challenging, but the panel were clear about which performances had stood out, most notable of which was Julien’s singing of Britten’s evocative A Poison Tree.Saffron van Zwanenberg, Chair of the Adjudication Panel

2015 is the 23rd anniversary of the Award, which is unique for the recognition of potential as much as achievement and has supported many extraordinary young singers at the start of their careers. This year’s prize winners join a succession of past winners including Amanda Echalaz, Christopher Maltman, Sarah Fox, Andrew Kennedy and Anna Devin.

The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are run annually by Jackdaws Music Education Trust for singers under the age of 30. The first Award was contested in the Somerset village of Great Elm, where Jackdaws is based, and participants were required to present a song by composer Peter Wishart, Maureen Lehane’s late husband, and an aria by Handel. Maureen was a celebrated Handelian singer and maintained that every singer should sing Handel at some point in their development. The same elements are required today in celebration of both Maureen and Peter’s legacy.

The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are generously supported by The Rosemary Bugden Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall (Emerging Artists), Geoffrey and Margaret Batten, Frome Voices and Jackdaws Trustees.

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2015
Maureen Lehane Winners and Judges 2015First Prize
Julien Van Mellaerts, Baritone (27)
Second Prize
Grace Durham, Mezzo-Soprano (27)
Third Prize
James Newby, Baritone (22)

Accompanist Prize
Edward Liddall (26) and Natalie Burch (23)
Audience Prize
James Newby, Baritone (22)

Upcoming Vocal Courses

Jackdaws BirdsJackdaws Vocal Courses run throughout the year and cater for musicians of all abilities, from your first note ( Discover Your Voice ) to perfecting your high notes ( The Vocal Technician ). Our courses are based on our cores values – inspiration, access and inclusion.

Opera Workshop
Mary Plazas

Friday 19 – Sunday 21 February 2016

Performance vs Technique
Rosa Mannion

Friday 11 – Sunday 13 March 2016

they created a safe environment for experimenting with our singing

The Vocal Technician
Joy Mammen

Friday 13 – Sunday 15 May 2016

Discover Your Voice
Penny Jenkins

Friday 3 – Sunday 5 June 2016

Jackdaws Autumn 2015Staged Opera Scenes
Saffron van Zwanenberg and Audrey Hyland

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 July 2016

Our residential weekend courses are the perfect retreat, where you can focus on your singing immersed in the calm of the Somerset countryside. You will work one to one with the best tutors in the country.

Singing Ensembles
Jessica Walker and David Knotts

Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 July 2016

Saffron and Audrey are an amazing team as well as experts in their field

Jump to all Jackdaws Voice courses

Foreign Languages at Jackdaws

Foreign Languages at Jackdaws

September is Foreign language month at Jackdaws – and we’re celebrating with leading experts in foreign language Art songs. We’ve invited French language specialist Robin Bowman and Russian language coach to the Royal Opera House Alexandre Naoumenko, to spend a weekend each with you in Great Elm.

Jackdaws Tutor Robin BowmanRobin Bowman worked as assistant to Pierre Bernac (the singer for whom Poulenc wrote more than half of his songs) throughout the 1970s, was French consultant for the National Opera Studio from 1978 to 2008. At the same time, he worked at the Académie Maurice Ravel and became Head of Academic Studies then Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School between 1985 and 2008. He was a judge at the Kathleen Ferrier competition and in his retirement now works as a visiting tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, continuing his music courses such as those Jackdaws during the summer.

Born in Lipetsk, halfway between Moscow and Volograd, Alexandre Naoumenko is a graduate from the Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatoire and the Moscow Opera Studio.Jackdaws Tutor Alexandre Naoumenko As a tenor, he has performed roles from the great Russian opera repertoire with some of the biggest companies on the most prestigious stages; the ENO, at the Concertgebouw, Royal Albert Hall and in Bolshoi Hall. He has taught at the Moscow Conservatory and works with prestigious orchestras such as the LSO Chorus, London Philharmonic and CBSO. For the past ten years he has been Russian language coach to the Royal Opera House.

Jackdaws courses are so successful because we are so careful about which tutors we invite. Alexandre and Robin have worked closely Jackdaws for many years.

BoathouseFlower KarolynThis September Alexandre and Robin visit Jackdaws to lead their “Singing in…” Language vocal courses. Both Singing in Russian and Singing in French are open to singers of any ability and address the key issues of singing in the respective languages as well as general vocal technique and health. You are invited to bring songs from your own repertoire or those which you are currently studying to work on with these eminent professionals.

Singing in French
with Robin Bowman
Friday 4 – Sunday 6 September

Singing in Russian
with Alexandre Naoumenko
Friday 18 – Sunday 20 September

OperaPLUS Grand Tour

OperaPLUS Grand Tour

OperaPLUS Stylist of Somerset

Selfie!

News may have reached your ears that something exciting is brewing in the Stylist of Somerset’s salon…

It is true. OperaPLUS 2015 will be bigger and better – we are literally going further than ever before by packing our bags and hitting the road for a Grand Tour of Somerset.

The dates are set; the cast of OperaPLUS will return this April to recreate the highly acclaimed 2014 production of Stylist of Somerset on five dates in four locations across the length and breadth of the county.

The Stylist of Somerset is setting up his salon on the following dates:
20th April – Kingsmead, Wiveliscombe
21st April – Kingsmead, Wiveliscombe
23rd April – King Afred’s, Burnham-on-Sea
30th April – Vallis First School, Frome
1st May – King Arthur’s Community School, Wincanton

All performances take place at 5:30pm and tickets will cost £2/£1 concessions.
For tickets contact Jackdaws on 01373 812383 or music@jackdaws.org

Handel at Jackdaws

Handel at Jackdaws

Jackdaws has always had a special relationship with the music of Handel. Our founder, Maureen Lehane, was a renowned Handel interpreter whose performances were legendary and the relationship continues this March, when Handelian soprano Rosa Mannion returns to Jackdaws to lead her course on the arias of the great composer. We have been getting in the mood for the weekend with a selection of our favourite videos…

[youtube id=”HvhyIFhIKGE” width=”620″ height=”360″]
Falsa imagine” is sung by Teofane in the first act of Ottone, when she is deceived by Adelberto at their first meeting into thinking he is Ottone, the man she is to marry. Film clip from “A Night with Handel” on Channel 4 DVD.

 

[youtube id=”tBV0o3TW_n4″ width=”620″ height=”360″]
In the second act of Orlando, Dorinda sings “Se Mi Rivolgo al Prato” to the title character of how she sees the face of Medoro everywhere, the warrior with whom she is in love. From the recording with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Have you always wanted to sing an aria, duet or chorus from Mozart’s most famous opera?

Will CarslakeThe Magic Flute has enchanted music and theatre lovers of all ages for hundreds of years. With charm and wit, it tells the story of a terrifying and joyful journey in pursuit of love, wisdom and happiness as Prince Tamino tries to rescue the Princess Pamina from the evil Sarastro. From the stratospheric arias of the Queen of the Night, through the jolly folk tunes of Papageno the Birdcatcher, to the profound music of Sarastro, leader of the enlightened ones, it is a full expression of Mozart’s musical and dramatic genius.

At the Come and Sing Opera Day, William Carslake will guide you through Mozart’s magical masterpiece. You will sing some of the most rousing choruses and tackle the solos and ensembles. William says, “we will sing in English, and can send out in music advance if wished. Please let us know if you would like to sing a certain part!”

‘Often referred to by many as Mozart’s only pantomime, The Magic Flute is a riot of life, lust and ludicrous plot that somehow belies its portentous position in Mozart’s output’ – Classic FM

The course runs from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 14 December and is open to singers of all abilities. The £35 fee includes the delicious home cooked lunch and all music needed for the workshop.

Jackdaws is in Great Elm, just 3 miles from Frome. Visit the course page to book or call 01373 812383 to ask any questions.

Come and Sing: Mozart’s Magic Flute
Sunday 14 December
William Carslake
11am – 3pm
Fee: £35 including lunch and music

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

On Friday 14 November, eight young finalists sang on the famous Wigmore Hall stage to compete for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award first prize of £2,500.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Winners 2014Winners at the 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards
1st Prize
Patrick Terry, Counter Tenor (25)
2nd Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone (25)
3rd Prize
Timothy Nelson, Baritone (27)
Audience Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone
Accompanist’s Prize
Rebecca Taylor (28), playing for Patrick Terry

Patrick is the first Counter Tenor to have won at the awards. Each finalist was required to present a 15 minute programme consisting of works by each of the two set composers – Peter Wishart and Handel – as well as two own choice selections. Patrick’s accompanist, Rebecca Taylor, was awarded the Accompanist’s Prize.

Jackdaws Artistic Director, and chair of the Adjudication Panel, Saffron van Zwanenberg said:

It was a wonderful afternoon of singing and playing from all of the finalists. Having chaired the last five finals I believe this year candidates performed to the highest overall standard on the day that we have seen. The panel were in agreement that the standard of singing, presentation and programming was very high and it was a very challenging adjudication as a result. The criteria of judging potential as well as achievement had to be extended to include all facets of performing as well as vocal potential in order for a decision to be made. The panel were unanimous in their decision, naming counter-tenor Patrick Terry as the winner, “He made me want to listen to what he had to say” (Simon Lepper).

The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Dame Felicity Palmer, Andrew Shore, Simon Lepper.

The awards form part of Jackdaws’ Young Artists Programme, one of the three main areas of Jackdaws’ work. The other two are our Weekend Courses for adult amateur musicians and Jackdaws Education, the outreach programme working with Somerset schools.

These awards would not have been possible without the help of certain individuals and organisations. Jackdaws wishes to thank The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall, Frome Voice, Geoffrey & Margaret Batten, the Jackdaws Trustees, Jessica Walker, Audrey Hyland, Ink Cap Designs and the Wigmore Hall for their own contributions to this year’s awards.

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Ameral Gunson at JackdawsThe latest course to sell out from our 2014-15 season is Ameral Gunson’s Singing and Imagination. Ameral joins Graham Fitch, whose Practising the Piano, went to a waiting list two weeks ago.

If you missed out on booking for Singing and Imagination, we recommend Advanced Singing Technique with Teresa Cahill instead. Teresa is one of the great British sopranos. Her career has taken her across the globe and seen her perform under Sir Georg Solti, Normal Del Mar, Vernon Handley, Otto Klemperer and alongside Roger Vignoles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Placido Domingo at the most prestigious classical festivals – the Proms, Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne (and that’s just in the UK!)

She has been visiting Jackdaws since the beginning with her course for advanced singers. Bring your own choice of repertoire from opera, operetta and oratorio in German, French, Italian or English and we will discover the depth of interpretation possible using vocal technique.

If the theatrical, creative imagination element of Ameral’s course appealed to you, then perhaps you the upcoming Audition Preparation Weekend in November would be a better alternative.

Led by vocal coach Audrey Hyland and opera director Saffron van Zwanenberg, this weekend should be the focus of your preparation for upcoming vocal auditions, whatever your ability. The panel, who both have extensive experience on audition panels, have structured the weekend to feature enactments of audition scenarios, vocal tuition and performance tips to raise the level your performance and give you the competitive edge.

To view all Jackdaws Vocal Courses, visit the Voice page.

Jackdaws programme of One-Day Taster Courses are also selling well, and serve as a fantastic introduction to areas of music you may not have considered – Alexander technique, anyone?

Advanced Singing Technique Course Details
Friday 17 – Sunday 19 October 2014
Course No. 3113
Level: Advanced
Fee: £200

Audition Preparation Weekend Course Details
Friday 7 – Sunday 9 November 2014
Course No. 3115
Level: A
Fee: £200

B&B available from £30 per night

Jackdaws Season 2014-15

Jackdaws Season 2014-15

JACKDAWS PRESENTS EXCITING NEW PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR 14-15 SEASON

Anna Stegmann Photo: Marco Borggreve

New Tutor for 2014-15, Anna Stegmann

Jackdaws Music Education Trust is delighted to present its latest programme of weekend music courses.

The season commences in October 2014 and sees residential courses offered with tutors such as Graham Fitch and Philip Fowke on piano, Evelyn Tubb and Rosa Mannnion on voice as well as ensemble courses and much more. Jackdaws’ series of taster Day Courses also return offering a wonderful introduction to new areas of music making as well as a famous Jackdaws lunch.

Jackdaws is also delighted to welcome some new tutors: Anna Stegmann, contemporary recorder Professor at the Royal Academy is taking a joint course with resident recorder tutor Pamela Thorby; celebrated soprano, Mary Plazas leads the Opera Workshop for singers of all ability; renowned singers Sarah Leonard and Stephen Varcoe are leading an English Song weekend and the extraordinary piano teacher Penelope Roskell is coming to Jackdaws for the first time.

“I am so delighted that such eminent professional musicians continue to support the work we do to include musicians from all backgrounds in accessing the best teaching and being inspired by discovering new repertoire and techniques. Often being a musician can be a solitary experience, so we are thrilled to be able to enable our tutors and our participants in coming together to bring music to life whilst spending time in our picturesque and inspiring location.” – Saffron van Zwanenberg, Jackdaws Artistic Director

Alongside all of these wonderful opportunities Jackdaws will also be continuing to be at the forefront of music education for children and young people in Somerset, championing classical music and musicians and promoting a classical method of teaching and learning to support and enable young people to fulfil their musical aspirations.

To view all Jackdaws courses visit the Calendar

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