Last week we met talented young violinist Emmanuel Bach. This week we meet the other no less talented soloist in Firebird’s next concert, The First Cuckoo, soprano Samantha Hay…
Tell us a little about yourself as a musician…
I trained as an undergraduate at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and as a postgrad at the Royal College of Music. I was a chorister for Welsh National Opera for seven years and returned to freelance work seven years ago.
Can you identify some career highlights to date?
After I left the chorus at WNO, I returned a year later to perform Frasquita in Carmen and my dream role of Queen of the Night. That was a very proud moment! To keep returning to a company that meant so much to me is such a pleasure and a thrill every time.
I also performed as the Goddess Ceres in a production of The Tempest with the Royal Shakespeare Company – singing and delivering a Shakespeare speech for the most highly regarded theatre company in the world was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
What is your preferred musical genre?
I regularly perform as a soloist for Choral Societies throughout the UK, but my heart is on the stage with opera. I love discovering a character and working as a team with other cast members and production staff. Working in a studio for weeks and then transferring the production to stage in front of a constantly changing audience is very exciting and hugely rewarding as a performer.
What about your future ambitions in music?
I am really keen to become more involved in the education of young people and children and to introduce them to classical music and opera and hopefully inspire more young people into the industry.
Together with my partner, Beatboxer Andy Frost, we have formed the duo OperaBeatz! We hope to show how completely difference genres of music can work together and we run workshops for schools to encourage more exploration in musical styles.
What is the value of London Firebird to younger professional musicians like yourself?
Throughout my professional development I have always been very grateful for programmes such as British Youth Opera, where I was given a great opportunity to perform a major role at the Linbury Studio.
Establishments such as this and London Firebird are vital for giving young musicians experience in a professional environment and also for networking with peers. In this business, learning doesn’t end after college, there is still a huge amount to learn in the professional world, and it is really important for young musicians and singers to experience that.
The First Cuckoo: Nature Unwrapped
Sunday 22 March, 6.30 pm
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Delius On Hearing the First Cuckoo
Delius Spring Summer Night on the River
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Mozart The Queen of the Night Arias: Der Hölle Rache & O zittre nicht (from Magic Flute)
Haydn Symphony no. 83 in G minor, Hob.I:83 (La Poule)
Conductor George Jackson
Violin Emmanuel Bach
Coloratura Samantha Hay
This concert has been organised in collaboration with the London Chamber Music Society