News & Views

Member Spotlight: Oliver Gibbs - Baritone

Audition OracleThu 20 Jun 2024 @ 13:35

This week our Member Spotlight is on British baritone Oliver Gibbs.

 
 
 Oliver Gibbs - Baritone

1. How do you describe yourself as an artist?

Opera Singer
 

2. What other skills or passions do you have that help shape you as an artist?

Active sportsman and builder, which keeps me vaguely fit. Energy in performance is critical.
 

3. What has been the most memorable and rewarding experience you have had as an artist?

Alberich for Regents Opera in Das Rheingold in November 2022
 

4. What role, company or performing situation would be a dream come true for you as an artist?

Rigoletto at the ROH.
 

5. What do you like most about being a creative artist?

The freedom involved in absorbing yourself into a character - sometimes wildly removed from that of your own. When there is fabulous music to inform that, then all the better.
 

6. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Work as hard now as you're going to have to later on. Nothing less than 100% dedication. 
 

7. Three words that are the pillars you shape your career by:

Dedication, Joy, and Collegiality
 

8. Upcoming performances:

I am singing the role of Don Giovanni with Regents Opera on tour through the summer. The next performance is at Hoxton Hall, Saturday 29th June, 7.30pm.
 
 
Keep up-to-date with all Ollie's performances by visitng his Audition Oracle profile page https://auditionoracle.com/singer/oliver_gibbs/.

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Member Spotlight: Chelsea Hollow - Coloratura Soprano

Audition OracleTue 11 Jun 2024 @ 15:09

Introducing the glorious coloratura soprano Chelsea Hollow for our latest Member Spotlight.

Chelsea Hollow - Coloratura Soprano 


1. How do you describe yourself as an artist?

Vocalist, curator, commissioner.

 

2. What other skills or passions do you have that help shape you as an artist?

Functional strength training, singing genres in addition to classical, video editing.

 

3. What has been the most memorable and rewarding experience you've had as an artist?

Singing in the Dolores opera workshop (West Edge Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Southwest, and BroadStage) in which Dolores Huerta herself was able to attend. Seeing her face as she watched us perform these moments from her life which had such an immense impact on the rights of farm workers in the US...it was an unbelievable experience.

 

4. What role, company or performing situation would be a dream come true for you as an artist?

I'm half Lebanese and I've never been cast in an opera about an Arabic woman or even with an Arabic narrative. It would be amazing to sing in an opera about or with an Arabic woman; two examples of incredible stories not yet brought to the operatic canon: Malala Yousafzai and Yusra Mardini.

 

5. What do you like most about being a creative artist?

It is literally my job to play, create, think, explore, innovate, etc.!

 

6. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Spend more time finding out who you want to be and less time worrying about fitting into a "castable" mold.

 

7. Three words that are the pillars you shape your career by:

Intentionality, Kindness, and Curiosity.

 

8. Where can our members see you perform next or support your work?

I'm thrilled to be curating and commissioning my next album which will be recorded and released in 2025. In 2024 and 2025, I'll be performing in local operas and touring my solo recital, Cycles of Resistance, around the country. 2025 and 2026 have some very exciting opera debuts that I'm not able to announce at this time.


You can find out all about the wonderful soprano Chelsea Hollow and her many exciting projects and announcements by following https://www.chelseahollow.com.

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Member Spotlight: Grace Lovelass - Mezzo-Soprano

Audition OracleTue 4 Jun 2024 @ 12:37

Today our Member Spotlight is British mezzo-soprano Grace Lovelass

Photo of British mezzo soprano Grace Lovelass on blue and gold back ground.

1. How do you describe yourself as an artist?

Opera singer, entertainer and IRONMAN
 

2. What other skills or passions do you have that help shape you as an artist?

Coincidentally, I am actually a long distance cycling enthusiast who loves to cold-water swim!! I’m a two-time IRONMAN triathlete, as well as a yogi and dancer trained in ballroom & latin, street and now flamenco. I’ve written two one-woman shows with the most recent, Disgraceful, billed as the rebellion of an off-duty opera singer. I give talks to Women’s Institutes and other organisations about my life as a singer and athlete.
 

3. What has been the most memorable and rewarding experience you have had an artist?

Writing, producing and performing my show, Disgraceful. It was the culmination of a lot of soul searching, self discovery and artist enquiry undertaken during the pandemic. It also put to bed the imposter syndrome that I’d felt coming to a professional opera career later in life. More than anything, the most memorable and rewarding aspect was the complete joy that I felt sharing something so honest and personal with my audience on the night.
 

4. What role, company or performing situation would be a dream come true for you as an artist?

My favourite role to date has been Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. I can’t imagine enjoying a character more but, of course, the ultimate goal would be to perform it at the highest possible level and the Met is my dream opera house. So, in the meantime, I’ll just be here, keeping on manifesting!
 

5. What do you like most about being a creative artist?

I never know what’s going to happen next. I wake up with a sense of excitement and wonder every single morning. But perhaps most of all, I get to be completely myself in everything I do. I had a previous career in which I was trying to squeeze myself into a mould. I was using my skills but compromising aspects of my personality to fit the environment and industry standards. Now, I have the unequivocal pleasure of showing up as my unique and authentic self every single day.
 

6. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be unapologetically yourself and listen to your soul. I’ve learnt that my unique talents and way of seeing the world are what makes my work interesting. The same goes for all of us and my favourite mantra is “your mission is not what you do - it’s what happens in others when you do what you do”. I’ve learnt to trust my intuition. Stay curious, open to information and hear advice but then, have faith in yourself to take what you need and throw the rest away.
 

7. Three words that are the pillars you shape your career by:

Courage, honesty and self-reliance
 

8. Where can our community come and see you perform?

I’m singing the Sorceress in Dido & Aeneas with Somerset Opera in July and the Witch and Mother in Hansel & Gretel with Opera Kipling at Camden Fringe in August. I’m calling it my ‘hot witch summer’ as I embrace my mezzo hag era!
 
To purchase tickets for To catch Grace's Sorceress, please visit https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/somersetoperagroup and for Witch/Mother in Hansel & Getel - https://camdenfringe.com/events/hansel-gretel/
 

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Member Spotlight: Nuada Le Drève - Soprano

Audition OracleThu 30 May 2024 @ 10:04

This weeks Member Spotlight falls on French soprano Nuada Le Drève

Nuada Le Drève
 


1. How do you describe yourself as an artist?

I would say that I am very enthusiastic, passionate about interpretation, discoveries and transmitting a multitude of emotions to the public!
 

2. What other skills or passions do you have that help shape you as an artist?

I truly love reading, moving my body is very important as well so I am into running, swimming as well as pilate/yoga and cold bathing.
 

3. What has been the most memorable and rewarding experience you have had an artist?

Every experience on stage is very intense and significant to me but I would say my role of Cendrillon in the Pauline Viardot's eponymous opera at Opéra de Lausanne. This experience was more than magical with a wonderful staging, cast, technical team and public. Will never forget.
 

4. What role, company or performing situation would be a dream come true for you as an artist?

Performing on stage is my main goal and pleasure. I am very curious about repertoire and would be happy to sing many characters such as Blanche de la Force, Juliette, Anne Trulove or Mimi. Being fest would be one of my goal as well. 
 

5. What do you like most about being a creative artist?

No routine, getting to know amazing new people every day, being surrounded by beauty. It is extremely demanding and can be hard physically and mentally but there is something addictive to that.
 

6. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be patient. Work harder. Enjoy your time with family and friends and hobbies.
 

7. Three words that are the pillars you shape your career by:

Curiosity, Passion, Humanity.
 

8. Where can we see you eprform next?

I will sing Anna in Verdi's Nabucco at the Opéra de Lausanne in June, really much looking forward to experience this new staging by Stefano Poda!
 
Find out more about Nuada by visitng her Audition Oracle Profile page - https://auditionoracle.com/singer/nuada_le_dreve.

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Company Spotlight: London Armenian Opera

Audition OracleWed 22 May 2024 @ 16:26

 

We are delighted to announce our first Company Spotlight - London Armenian Opera led by artistic director baritone Aris Nadirian.

London Armenian Opera

 

1. How do you describe London Armenian Opera?

A small, community based opera company, producing Armenian operas in London.
  

2. What is the ethos of London Armenian Opera?

To keep alive the cultural identity of Armenians in the diaspora as well as to introduce Armenian operas to the wider public. 
 

3. What has been one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences for London Armenian Opera?

Bringing together artists from Armenia and the UK with a production of Armen Tigranian's epic opera Davit Bek on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015.
 

4. What dream project would you most like to achieve in future?

My personal dream would be to stage Alexander Stepanian's Almast. This is a dream that I have carried with me for over 40 years!! I was 15 years old when I came across the vocal score of this opera at the Armenian library in Isfahan, Iran (where I was born). From that moment on, I’ve been enchanted by the story and the composer's genius in combining Persian and Armenian folk music to portray the unique characteristics of these two neighbouring nations.
 

5. What do you like most about London Armenian Opera?

LAO has always maintained at its core two values - working with non-professionals and also giving a platform and opportunity to musicians and singers in the early stage of their career to gain experience.
 

6. If you could give one piece of advice to creatives starting out, what would it be?

Try to bridge the gap between the
"personal" and " the collective" in your artistic development path. 
 

7. Share three words that are the pillars you shape your company by. At Audition Oracle, ours are Curiosity, Craft and Community

Pride, history and folklore. 
 

8. Do you have any performances coming up that you’d love us to shout about?

Avet Terterian's The Ring of Fire , an abstract opera and a psychological drama which deals with the human cost of deep ideological divisions within a nation.
There will be two performances of the opera at The Marylebone Theatre on 19th and 20th July. For tickets, please visit https://tickets.marylebonetheatre.com/tickets/series/TheRingofFire.
 
To read more about London Armenian Opera, please visit their website - https://www.londonarmenianopera.com.

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