Hear From a Past Winner: Simone McIntoshBy Simone McIntoshPosted in Ensemble Studio
I have a confession to make.
I’m terrible to be around at auditions!
Some singers pace up and down the hallway, getting into the zone. Others meditate, or work on that last bit of phrasing they want to nail down.
But I’m always just too excited. I want to meet all these interesting people and get to know who they are and how they ended up here with me.
It’s always been that way for me because I see opera as a social act. It’s performed in a company of peers and shared with a live audience, whether that audience is a panel of three judges or an auditorium filled with 2,000 opera fans.
There’s nothing like the special connection that comes from a live performance. So when I had to submit a video audition to enter the COC Ensemble Studio Competition, I got together with a few friends and made it into a bit of a party. We were each other’s audience while we recorded our pieces — and after we all hit “send” on those submission emails, we were rooting for each other all the way.
Because once you get right down to it, opera is the ultimate invitation to collaborate, to mix art forms, to blend sounds and share in something that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
“Girl. Relax. Take a second, and breathe!”
Simone McIntosh on advice she would give her past self.
That’s what I remember most from my experience: even though we were in a competition, there was this overwhelming sense of camaraderie. These wonderful, insanely talented people were all genuinely invested in each other’s success.
The same was true of all the COC trainers and coaches we met. Can you imagine what a dream it is for a young singer to be able to chat with Maestro Johannes Debus about tempi and rhythm in Rossini, about how to create a streamlined sound in Mozart?
These are game-changing moments for young artists like me — and they wouldn’t be possible without an opportunity like the Ensemble Studio Competition.
When my name was called as a winner, I was so surprised that I apparently made a weird squeak.
And then I couldn’t stop smiling for weeks on end.
2016 Ensemble Studio Competition Winner
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