|Penelope Cousland in rehearsal © NOS 2017|
|David Ireland, Christopher Cull & Benjamin Lewis |
in rehearsal © NOS 2017
Penelope Cousland, Christopher Cull and Frederick Brown are amongst the 12 singers and four repetiteurs who are the current young artists at the NOS. All are with the NOS for a single academic season (September to June). The three to whom I chatted were all in the 27 to 30 age range, having studied extensively before coming to the National Opera Studio
For Penelope, the singers' time at NOS is a platform between study and going into the real world, it is a chance to build contacts, work on technique, acting and characterisation, to solidify what they already know. As an aspiring repetiteur and conductor, the period is a chance for Frederick to learn to respond to language, listen to singers and acquire specialised operatic techniques. Christopher emphasised that the year saw the singers being more independent than at college, they can train the way they want to, and they decide what to achieve and get coaching. There is no set syllabus and, as in the profession, coaching takes often place around roles being learned. But the subjects are the same as at college, but the coaching is more specific to what the singers need and there can be more of it because there are fewer of them.