Roderick Williams Masterclass
Roderick Williams was kind enough to take time out of his busy rehearsal schedule for The Marriage of Figaro to hold a Masterclass for the young singers of Scottish Opera’s Connect group. Recently described as ‘Britain’s best baritone’ by Opera magazine, Roderick gave the benefit of his expertise to six young singers in one-to-one half hour sessions.
Connect is a workshop programme for 14 – 21 year olds which gives young singers an introduction to opera under the expert tutelage of members of the Company.
To pile on the pressure for the young singers, a small audience of invited guests also sat in on the session. We’ve never seen them look so nervous! But it wasn’t long before Roderick put each singer at their ease.
First up with ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’ from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte was Stephanie Strachan who says she was shaking when she started her song ‘After a shaky start to my performance, I finished the piece as best as I could. Roderick's first comment was asking me how nervous I was on a scale of 1 to 10, so I knew my nerves had shown!
‘I agreed completely on his idea that no matter how much you practice singing in front of a mirror or by yourself, singing to an audience is never the same. He said I should start performing more to an audience, which funnily enough I don't do very often!
‘Most of his comments were on my interpretation of the text, which I only had a basic knowledge of. Now looking deeper into the song I was performing, I feel I'm able to connect with the emotions it creates and that I can now give a more meaningful performance - just need to work on my nerves!
‘It was a fantastic experience and I would love the opportunity to do so again in the future.‘
For Lawrence Smith – who performed The Sky Above The Roof by Vaughan Williams – the class proved a valuable experience ‘The Masterclass with Roderick Williams was not only beneficial as a young singer but highly enjoyable.
‘The hints and tips he willingly divulged will definitely be considered as my singing career progresses. The opportunity to hear each other sing was also very interesting, particularly when you could see (and hear!) Roderick's advice being put into practice.
‘I hope Roderick enjoyed the Masterclass as much as we did!'
And it’s clear Roderick’s won himself some new fans, Amy Bilsborough, who sang ‘Widmug’ by Schumann, says ‘Participating in the Masterclass was amazing.
'Roderick helped me not only to improve my singing technique, but the way in which I communicate repertoire to an audience which will help me greatly in the future.’
The young singers will get the chance to hear Roderick sing Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, as they’ll be attending a performance of the show.