Sun, 15 Sep | Auckland Opera Studio

The World So Wide - An Afternoon of Opera and Song

You are invited to support NZ soprano Clare Hood as she returns to the UK to complete her second year of opera studies at the Royal Northern College of Music.
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The World So Wide - An Afternoon of Opera and Song

Time & Location

15 Sep 2019, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Auckland Opera Studio, 24 St Benedicts St, Eden Terrace, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

About the Event

Before she returns to the UK to resume her studies, Clare will be holding a benefit concert on Sunday 15 September, 3pm at Auckland Opera Studio's Ansonia Room to help raise the funds for her second year. The concert will be a relaxed event with an enjoyable mix of opera and art song (with just a dash of musical theatre!), and a late afternoon tea at the conclusion of the concert.

Entry will be by koha (cash donations at the door); all proceeds will go towards funding Clare's study costs at RNCM. Please email clare.hood@gmail.com to reserve a seat

Read more about the performers:

Clare Hood is a coloratura soprano studying under Jane Irwin at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). Her studies there are supported by the RNCM with an award from the Eva Turner Award Fund as the 2018/2019 recipient of the Dame EvaTurner Award for Potential Dramatic Sopranos, as well as a scholarship from the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust.

She previously studied with Drs Morag Atchison and Te Oti Rakena at the University of Auckland School of Music, where she graduated in classical voice performance, BMus(Hons) in 2017, and MMus in 2018, both with first class honours.

For RNCM Opera she has sung Madam Wanton (The Pilgrim's Progress) - with Opera magazine's review noting “a delicious cameo from Clare Hood as Madam Wanton”.  Opera Scenes performances have included Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and Madame Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor. This year Clare will appear as Madame Lidoine for RNCM Opera's December production of Dialogues des Carmélites and as Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) in RNCM's 2020 Opera Scenes.

Clare has recently been a semi-finalist in the prestigious IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition; a semi-finalist in the McCormick Aria Competition; and a finalist in the Dame Malvina Major Wellington Aria, winning the Robin Dumbell Cup for the singer with the most potential. Before relocating to the UK, Clare was a member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus, most recently for their productions of Manon Lescaut, Aida, and L'elisir d'amore

Clare will be joined by Rachel Fuller (piano) and Ella Ewen (soprano) and gratefully acknowledges their support, as well as that of the Auckland Opera Studio.

Rachel Fuller ARAM, MMus (RAM) built her career as a collaborative pianist in London between 1997 and 2015 and currently works at the University of Auckland as a Professional Teaching Fellow in Collaborative Piano and Vocal Coaching and is Coordinator of Keyboard. 

Originally from Christchurch, Rachel studied with Rosemary Stott and Dierdre Irons (University of Canterbury) before completing her training at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Michael Dussek and Tatiana Sarkissova.

 

Rachel has performed regularly in leading venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Coliseum and St John’s Smith Square. Rachel has accompanied leading international singers in concert including tenors Keith Lewis and Simon O’Neill, baritone Jeffrey Black, dramatic soprano Turid Karlsen, and mezzo sopranos Yvonne Fontane and Catrin Johnsson. She has worked as accompanist in the teaching studios of internationally renowned artists such as Dame Kiri te Kanawa and Yvonne Kenny, Keith Lewis, and the late Anthony Rolfe Johnson. As recitalist she has performed in France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, and throughout Europe.

Rachel worked as an audition accompanist for The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and as a répétiteur, vocal coach, and diction coach for contemporary opera productions in the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House. She has also worked with leading British opera companies including: Diva Opera; Opera Della Luna; London Opera Players; Opera East; and London Festival Opera with repertoire including: operas by Mozart, La Fille du Regiment, The Barber of Seville, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Boheme, Fidelio, Tosca and Turandot.

 

Connections to Scandinavia led her to work as a répétiteur, vocal coach, and chorus coach for operatic productions as well as accompanist for opera gala performances and recitals. For Opera i Kristiansund she was central to the success of their productions of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (2014/2015) and Giuseppe Scarlatti’s opera Dove è amore è gelosia (2013/2014) where she also provided continuo for the performances.

Further work in Norway includes Turandot for Opera Nordfjord (March 2014). In 2011 she became the Musical Director of Åmot Opera Gard’s Opera Festival in Bygstad, Norway. Her first production there of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in 2011 was favourably received by critics and public alike. In August of 2012 she directed from the harpsichord an international cast of singers and instrumentalists in performances of Händel’s opera Orlando.

 

Rachel has performed chamber music repertoire extensively and has made several tours for Chamber Music New Zealand. Since her return to New Zealand, Rachel has been in demand as a chamber musician and has performed with violinists Leo Phillips, Andrew Beer; violist Serenity Thurlow; and cellists Martin Rummel, James Bush, and Edith Salzman; as well as flutist Luca Manghi, oboist Celia Craig, and bassoonist Selena Orwin. She has performed extensively as pianist and harpsichordist at the Akaroa Festival and for the Kristiansund chamber music festival in Norway.

In London Rachel taught piano at all levels at leading London schools – St. Pauls’ Boys School, Latymer Upper School and Richmond-Upon-Thames-College. In her private studio she has taught piano and cello for over 20 years. Rachel worked for Morley College on their Opera Programme as a vocal coach, répétiteur, and accompanist. She has worked as an accompanist and vocal coach for the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation in the UK and has continued her work for the Foundation in New Zealand, coaching singers on their young artist programme.

 

For the New Zealand Singing School Rachel has been a guest tutor since 2007 and in 2017 was made Principal of Faculty and Curriculum and led the school together with Catrin Johnsson and Judy Bellingham in January 2019. For the last two schools she has coordinated and taught the trainee accompanist programme.

 

Rachel is passionate about helping pianists in New Zealand develop skills as collaborative pianists. She initiated the ‘Collaborative Pianists of New Zealand’ Facebook page to support NZ pianists, she teaches collaborative piano from undergraduate to Masters level at the University of Auckland, and in July 2019 presented the newly established Choral Accompanists Programme for Choral Connect. 

Ella Ewen has recently completed her BMus(Hons) with first class honours in classical voice performance at the University of Auckland School of Music, where she studied under the tutelage of Dr Morag Atchison. Prior to her postgraduate studies, Ella completed a conjoint BMus/BCom majoring in classical voice and international business, also at the University of Auckland.

Her most recent roles include Princesse in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, and Carrie in Carousel, both as part of the Wallace Opera Training Programme at the University of Auckland School of Music. Ella also features regularly as a soloist; most recently as part of the Dame Malvina Major fundraising concert series.

Ella is also a member of both the Auckland Chamber Choir and Voices New Zealand; both directed by Dr Karen Grylls. In 2018 Ella was selected for the Voices tour to the UK, France, Germany, and Spain, and featured as a soloist in the choir's BBC radio broadcast at Cadogan Hall.

Ella has also been a member of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir (which toured to Singapore and Malaysia in 2014), and is a current member of the New Zealand Youth Choir, which toured to Europe and Singapore in 2016, competing in the IFAS Choral Competition in the Czech Republic, and winning the Grand Prix.

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