Les Roses D'Ispahan Recording Kate Smith
Kate is a classically trained singer with a Graduate Certificate in Classical Voice and a Masters in Leadership from Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2017), where she is currently a Fellow (2018). She originally studied Film at Columbia University (2009), as well as Mandarin at Tsinghua University (2012) and worked for several years in both New York and Beijing China as a bi-lingual video producer.
Kate began producing her own music theatre productions in 2011 with Lolo and the Midnight Cabaret (New York), an event which put her on the road to becoming “the singing madame” of Beijing’s cabaret scene (Global Times). In addition to singing with Moonglow Burlesque troupe, Kate created her own meticulously researched cabarets, including Weimar-era Vamps.Vixens.Weimar, Shanghai-1920s-era Siren.Seductress.Shanghai, and turn-of-the-century Songs from the Labyrinth. While in China, Kate sang with a range of bands including vocal harmony band The Confectionaires, country bands Honky Tonk Angels and Randy Abel Stable, and indie-pop band, The Contraplans.
Throughout her life, Kate has remained devoted to singing classical music, including in choirs like Cantori New York (Mark Shapiro), The International Festival Choir of Beijing (Esq. Nick Smith), and Guildhall’s Consort (Eamonn Dougan). She has performed in musical theatre and opera productions, including as Cinderella in Re:Sound Music Theatre’s production Thousand Furs, performed at Kings Place as part of the Tete a Tete Opera Festival in August 2015.
Kate often brings together her enthusiasm for many different genres of performance; when living in New York, Kate created and animated puppets for several productions, and created an original puppet musical for Puppet Playlist (2011). A fan of world and folk music, she was president of New York’s Worldmuse Ensemble (2008), interned at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (2008), formed a Shapenote ensemble, Ironworks, and played accordion in a street marching band, Rude Mechanical Orchestra. She performs her own arrangements of American folk music and has delivered workshops on the subject at Chinese universities and museums. In 2014 she began working on a new collaboration, Sister Kate, writing original America with a dark twist.
Kate began producing music camps, workshops and residencies in 2008 when she became administrator to the International Vocal Arts Workshop in Groznjan, Croatia. Since then, she has co-produced Compass World Arts World Music and Dance Workshop in Dali, China (2015), The Makers’ Collective in Gois Portugal (2016), and Other Lands Other Sounds, a Collaborative Music-Making Workshop in Gois, Portugal (2017). She is starting her own company, Curiosa, to continue expanding her work in this area.
As a workshop leader, Kate has lead and supported projects in a range of contexts including in hospitals, mental health facilities, primary schools, festivals, and residential intensives. She has worked with young adults with learning disabilities, people suffering from dementia, and those with mental health issues, working for employers including Aldeburgh, BBC, South West Music School, Beats Learning, and the Barbican.
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