We're coming to that time in the year when post-graduation and holiday blues are starting to set in. Maybe your plans for this year haven't turned out quite as expected and you're looking for new avenues or your concert diary is slightly emptier than you'd like it to be and you're starting to worry. Have no fear!!
Since I'm one of the many who are facing their first year in the big wide world, I thought I'd hand over the reins to graduates that have gone before us in a series of interviews where they'll share how they found this first year. I'm kicking off this series with 2018 Royal College Graduate, an extremely successful soprano and dear friend Charlotte Hoather with her advice for us lost souls.
My first year after graduating with a Master of Performance (Voice) from the Royal College of Music in July 2018 has been a bit of a whirlwind. I have sung in nine operatic productions, performed recitals alongside my duo partner George Todica and entered competitions within the UK, Ireland and South Korea. The first week after graduating I was very fortunate to win the ‘Pendine International Voice of the Future’ at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Following this achievement, I was asked to sing alongside Rolando Villazon and Rhian Lois in Llangollen International Eisteddfod’s Opera Gala this July.
What did you find particularly challenging?
After finishing studies, I found a few things challenging. I stayed in the Halls of residence during my studies so I missed the close and regular contact with other musicians daily that this provided. The availability of practise spaces and the fact that living with non-musicians in a shared home (so that I could afford to stay in London) doesn’t work when you have a 09:00 audition on a Saturday morning and you need to warm-up. My coaching and singing lessons became less frequent and the opportunities and ease to do video recordings when you need them.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Was there anything you found you were particularly strong at?
Picking myself up and remaining positive. I try to blog weekly and remember that even the smallest achievement or how I have relaxed with friends and family in my downtime is worth celebrating. I have a great support network; who I know I can turn to when I need advice and encouragement, including my very generous blog friends. For this I will be continually grateful.
What is your top tip for people in their first year out who may be hitting a wall?
There are lots of occasions where your confidence will be knocked. You may question your dreams and whether you are talented enough to achieve your hopes. The best advice I received was not to measure my current success on my ambitions but on smaller goals that I could control. Such as learning a particular aria or role. I found this far more motivating and kept me positive during quieter months. Also don’t feel like you are failing if you have to take on other work to cover your bills.
Charlotte's next performance will be on Tuesday 12th November at Bamford Chapel and Norden United Reform Church at 1pm.
For further information visit www.charlottehoatherblog.com