Mezzo Soprano Postgraduate Training

Felicity Turner

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100%! Thank you so much to everyone for their hugely generous donations and for everyone who has shared the campaign! Any more donations will go towards the £19,480 of fees, so please keep donating and sharing while we still have 6 days to go!

Goal

I am extremely excited to have been offered a place to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. I will study as a postgraduate on the Guildhall Artist Masters course for two years, full-time. I will be putting the money raised here towards the £19,480 of course fees I will face, on top of approximately £20,000 of living expenses.

I am certain that two years spent learning full-time with my chosen teacher, Theresa Goble, whilst taking full advantage of the unique performance opportunities; world-class coaching in repertoire, language, and movement; and wealth of resources on offer at this prestigious conservatoire will equip me for my chosen career as an opera singer.

I have been given a scholarship from the Guildhall School, and have both private and family sponsorship pledged. I have been working three jobs this year and have been saving hard, and I have also taken out a Career Development Loan. Even after all this however, I have still only raised three-quarters of the funds needed to pay the fees. I will continue to fundraise throughout my course to make up the shortfall, and I hope that I may find some of that funding here through kind and generous people on Talent Backer.

Background

Early Years and School
I joined the local church choir aged 6, and I was awarded a scholarship to join the Exeter Cathedral Choir in Devon, aged 8.

For four years I boarded away from my family to take part in the full time schedule of singing services, concerts, broadcasts and tours with the Cathedral Choir, as well as usual school work and other musical and sporting extra activities. After being Head Chorister in my final year I was awarded a music scholarship to Truro School, aged 13.

Whilst there I took part in all school choirs as well as in the voluntary choir at Truro Cathedral and the Cornwall youth choir. I performed lead roles in the school musicals and plays, and fronted a jazz quartet and the school and county big bands. Facing having to leave the school for Sixth Form due to financial hardship, despite my scholarship, I was awarded a Rank Foundation Award for my final years – awarded to those with exceptional leadership potential across the country.

University
After a gap year where I worked to save for university, and studied for further music qualifications, I went to study Music and Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. There were many chances to perform: singing recitals and devising shows as part of my degree, and joining opera societies. I studied solo singing as a specialism and was awarded a Double First in my final recital.

I was awarded a choral scholarship at Royal Holloway for my three years there, and with the Choir of Royal Holloway we held a busy weekly schedule of services and concerts in the chapel alongside touring the USA and Europe, recording for Hyperion Records, and broadcasting regularly on BBC radio and television.

I worked various part time jobs whilst at Royal Holloway to supplement my Student Loan taken out for fees and living expenses.

Further study
I graduated from RHUL with First Class Honours in 2011 and went on to the inaugural choral training scheme, Genesis Sixteen, run by The Sixteen and the Genesis Foundation. Here I was one of 24 chosen out of hundreds to study ensemble singing with Harry Christophers, Eamonn Dougan, and members of The Sixteen. This was a course fully funded by the Genesis Foundation, for which I was extremely grateful. This course and all my previous choral training led me to embark on a freelance choral singing career. I also studied on the Morley College Opera Course, being coached in voice, languages, stagecraft and repertoire for a year, each term culminating in an opera scenes performance. This experience led me to gain roles in small and touring opera companies.

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Current Position

Currently I find myself managing a busy professional choral and solo singing schedule. I am thrilled to be singing with choirs such as Polyphony, Tenebrae, The King’s Consort, Philharmonia Voices, the Choir of the Enlightenment with the OAE, and the Chapels Royal HM Tower of London.

As a soloist, I have appeared with the London Mozart Players, the Southbank Sinfonia, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and the Bristol Ensemble at venues such as St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Cadogan Hall, as well as being broadcast on Classic FM. Recent solo repertoire includes Haydn Harmoniemesse and Nelson Mass, Vivaldi Gloria, Mozart Requiemand Bach St John Passion and Magnificat. I have performed recitals at the Windsor Festival, giving the world premiere of Francis Shaw’s song cycle A Secret Creativity, and all over the UK. My first solo recording, Jonathan Dove’s My Love is Mine for Naxos (2012), was described by Gramophone Magazine as ‘beguiling’ and ‘a sheer pleasure’.

Recent operatic roles include the Narrator in Nick Morrish Rarity/Arthur Sawbridge’s new opera A Sign in Space (Gestalt Arts), Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto and Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Hampstead Garden Opera), Third Spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Opera Project), Ursule in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, Giove-as-Diana in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Nutrice in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, The Devil in Stephen Oliver’s Cinderella (or the Vindication of Sloth) (Morley Opera, Scenes).

I live in London, and living expenses here, combined with singing lessons and other training costs, are expensive. Through my singing work, along with part time music administration and teaching work, I have been able to support my living expenses to this point. However, once I am studying full time my work hours will be severely reduced – so your help in this campaign will not only help me pay my fees but also help towards travel costs, study resources, and all other costs related to living and studying in London.

The Future

With an ambition to ultimately become a successful international soloist, combining the performance of operatic roles with concert and recital performances, I feel passionate about getting people engaged in the arts and helping people. I would therefore like to continue to perform for smaller touring companies as well as established opera houses, using my singing to bring about positive change wherever I can.

Though I have trained extensively both privately and on other courses, without conservatoire training at the level I will receive at the Guildhall School I am unlikely to be able to sing to the level I wish to achieve, nor is it likely that I will be invited to audition for the prestigious opera companies and houses even if I could achieve that level on my own.

Training as an opera singer is a long and difficult process, and even after training I will be entering into a highly competitive industry, but I believe that the training the Guildhall School offers, combined with my commitment, talent, and drive, will enable me to achieve my goals.

Achievements

Reviews
“Felicity Turner as the Narrator gave an excellent physical performance on top of her distinctive and strong voice”
Everything Theatre, 2014
“the otherworldly narrator, Felicity Turner, electrified the hall with her opulent mezzo-soprano”
Exeunt Magazine, 2014
“Felicity Turner’s angelic voice as the cross-dressed Cherubino gave the opera sparkle”
Fringe Opera, 2013
“for sheer pleasure, the folksy solo ‘My Love is Mine’ as sung with beguiling simplicity by Felicity Turner takes some beating” 
Gramophone Magazine, 2012

Operatic Roles
Oxford Philomusica &
Echoris Ensemble – May 2015
Chorus – Così fan tutte
Gestalt Arts – June 2014
Narrator – Clive and other stories
Matchbox Opera – June 2014
Cherubino – The Marriage of Figaro
Hampstead Garden Opera – April 2014
Diana – La Calisto
Hampstead Garden Opera – November 2013
Cherubino – The Marriage of Figaro
Opera Project – October 2013
Third Spirit – The Magic Flute

Oratorio Solo Work
St Mary’s Singers, Truro Cathedral – 2015
Bach St John Passion
Streatham Choral Society, London – 2015
Haydn Nelson Mass
St Davids Cathedral Festival – 2014
Mozart Requiem and Haydn Nelson Mass
Southbank Sinfonia, Cadogan Hall – 2013
Haydn Harmoniemesse 
Recorded for broadcast on Classic FM, Jan 2014
Brandenburg Ensemble,
St Martin-in-the-Fields – 2013
Mozart Requiem 
London Mozart Players, RHUL  – 2010
Bach Magnificat 
Bristol Ensemble, St George’s Bristol – 2010
Vivaldi Gloria

Ensemble Experience
Choir of the Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London
Tenebrae
Choir of The Enlightenment
Polyphony
Britten Sinfonia Voices
Philharmonia Voices
Philharmonia Chorus Professional Singers
The King’s Consort
Hanover Band Chorus
Eric Whitacre Singers
Dieci Voices
Reverie Choir
The Choir of Royal Holloway

Training
Morley Opera School – Morley College. 2012-2013
Genesis Sixteen. 2011-2012
BA(Hons) Music and Drama (First Class Honours) – Royal Holloway University of London. 2008-2011
Rank Foundation Award. 2005-2007
Exeter Cathedral Chorister. 1998-2002. Head Girl Chorister. 2001-2002

Closing Message

As an aspiring opera singer, conservatoire training is essential, and the chance to train at such a prestigious school is something not to be missed. This course will help me refine my craft and hopefully compete with the best singers in the buisness. But without funding, my chances are seriously depleted.

I will be so grateful to anybody who contributes in any way towards my being able to attend this course and concentrate fully on making the best of the training on offer. I hope we can stay in touch as my career progresses so that I may continue to say thank you for many years to come.

Links

Please visit my website for more information

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