What are you studying at RCS?
Master of Music – Opera.
Where are you?
Glasgow – in my flat with my wife Jennifer and cat Sasha.
How are you connecting with the RCS community?
Mainly through WhatsApp, email and Skype/Zoom/Teams. Keeping in contact with my singing teacher and using the online library resources particularly the online journal of singing.
What’s on your isolation reading list?
I’m currently working on my audition arias package alongside learning my roles for next year. These are Theatre Director in Marilyn Forever by Gavin Bryars; Minksman in Flight by Jonathan Dove and Le chat in L’Enfant et les SortilÃ¨ges by Ravel with the BBC SSO.
What are you watching/listening to online?
I’ve been watching the nightly Metropolitan Opera screenings. I particularly enjoyed their Wagner week and Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites. I also have my Spotify account streaming often and when I’m not working, I’ll be rewatching Breaking Bad and exploring my free trial of Disney+.
What made you choose RCS?
I got in … I auditioned for all the music colleges in 2011 and only the RCS offered me a place. I remember being told on the day “we want you to come here” and RCS being a very friendly place. It was by far the best audition experience of the colleges I applied for. I wanted to stay at RCS with its brilliant facilities and teachers and did so for my Masters and now Opera School.
What do you enjoy most about your studies?
Being on stage. I love developing characters from the initial music/dialogue learning and developing that in the rehearsal studio then performing. It’s a bit like being thrown in at the deep end but it is the best way to learn – by being on the job and doing it.
What are you looking forward to about returning to RCS?
I’m looking forward to getting back on stage and doing what I love but also seeing my friends and enjoying the RCS community.
Favourite RCS moment/performance?
It is definitely my most recent performance playing Macheath in Kurt Weill’s Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera). It was immensely challenging as it is described as ”˜a play with music’ and so I had to learn and perform a full play in German and several musical numbers. It was hard but the rewards were brilliant and I loved every moment of it.
Describe RCS in three words?
Inspiring, creative, fun.
What sparked your love of the arts?
I remember my parents being very supportive of me and I used to sit at the back whilst they rehearsed for their local amateur orchestra. I started singing in my school choir and then had formal singing lessons at 16. I first stepped on stage in my school’s production of Les Miserables aged 15 and loved it – I got a buzz from doing that and have pursued it ever since.
What drives and inspires you?
I’m not quite sure to be honest. I remember wanting to be an optometrist through my latter school years and having some quite honest and difficult chats with my school teachers at the time. I was studying for A Levels in music, maths, chemistry and biology, most do three, and my grades had slipped slightly due to my work load. They all said (except my music teacher) you should drop music and focus on the sciences. I went home and quite quickly realised I wasn’t read to drop music and after some thought, I quickly decided to drop biology as I hated it and focus on music – I haven’t looked back since. I think that having discovered my love for music, I couldn’t let it go and I feel so lucky to be in this profession and will keep striving to be here.
What’s the dream?
To perform across the world as an operatic soloist.