Scholars learn from the great Dame

Several of the University’s singing Music Scholars had the opportunity to learn from one of the country’s leading singers last week, in a masterclass with Dame Anne Evans.

Dame Anne put several singers through their paces, in arias by Mozart and Handel and a piece by Cole Porter, sharing tricks of the trade in front of the audience in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall; as she said, later that evening when appearing In Conversation, ”If you can sing Mozart, you can sing anything.”

Later on, she talked about her career on the national and international stage, looking in particular at her performances at Bayreuth under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, taking the audience from her first professional engagements through the various stages of her career, accompanied by some extremely rare recordings and footage of her in the role of Brunnhilde in scenes from Götterdämmerung.

When asked what her secret was to preparing herself before performances of the epic Wagnerian role, she answered candidly: ”A large bowl of pasta two hours before the performance, and bananas in the interval.” Asked about advice for young singers starting out: ”Start with Mozart,” and ”In auditions, always sing pieces that you are really comfortable with.”

Performers, in order: Kathryn Cox, Philippa Hardimann, Olivia Potter, Vicky Newell, Paris Noble, Marina Ivanova and Steph Richardson, accompanied by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding:

Images © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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