I had numerous (some might say too many) hobbies as a child; tennis, sailing, horse riding, skiing, dance, forcing my younger brother to put on plays with me at home. But after trying all of these, I decided to put my full efforts into singing at the age of 15.
I had begun lessons as a hobby at age 13 and my teacher told me I had a voice that could be trained for the profession…if I was prepared to put the hours in! I was instantly sold on the idea, and after a lot of preparation I was accepted into a music conservatoire. I studied in London for 6 years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating with my BMus and MMus. The final 2 years were spent on the Opera Course preparing me to become a freelance opera singer.
That’s what I do now, and it’s brilliant.
There’s rarely a dull moment. Through the far-reaching connections of the Arts, my job has provided me with many memorable moments on and off the stage. I have had private viewings of royal palaces, world famous paintings and book collections; modelled bespoke millinery, sung before the rugby at Twickenham, been broadcast live in cinemas to audiences of thousands, met a host of celebrities and royalty, had the honour of singing at my friend’s weddings, learned three languages and a hip hop dance routine, performed in world premiers and designed my own performance gowns! But all that aside, the things I treasure most are singing my heart out to some of the richest music ever composed, and the wonderful, mad, eccentric and vibrant people I get to befriend and collaborate with as we create a show. That is where joy lies.
I am fortunate enough to be working in my dream job. But I know first hand the Performing Arts can be a tough, competitive and driven environment. I am passionate about giving my best at work, going for excellence, but trying not to be crippled by striving for perfectionism. Ambition is important to keep me focused, but I want to find a way of pouring out love and care for my craft without sidelining all the relationships that are significant to me in the process. A classical singer has nothing between them and their audience; no microphone or instrument as a vessel for the sound, it’s just your body. This is freeing (and sometimes terrifying) as it allows us to touch peoples’ souls in a unique way. I hope to make a difference as I reach out and sing in this way.
When I have enough years of experience ‘treading the boards’, I would also love to help shape training programmes, fundraise, advise, become a trustee, lend my (singing or speaking) voice to those who are not being championed; anything to serve the people working in the world of theatre and music that I care about. I have been blessed with excellent mentorship and want to pass on this attitude of care, encouragement and advice to others.
I think that’s one of the ways I can make a difference to our city and our world.
You can catch Samantha putting on two concerts here in London on 13th and 23rd July, with her good friend and colleague Sky Ingram. They are very accessible for anyone who thinks they may not be ready for a night at the opera yet, and contain a perfect blend of some sumptuous favourites from opera, peppered with a sprinkling of musical theatre and some cheeky comedy. They have woven their selection of songs and arias around the theme of many manifestations of ‘The Secrets of Sopranos.’ All will be revealed on the night…
(Don’t panic, there will be translations for any items not in English!)
Find out more here.