Well its been a while dear readers. Since I wrote to you in November so much has been happening. But first of all my biggest news is that I have finally moved into my own place in Bolton. I have a beautiful flat in a gorgeous part of the town. I live across the road from a massive field and if you stick your head out of the bedroom window I have a beautiful view of the hills and rolling Lancashire countryside. I am so so happy to be here and it really does feel like home for me. Of course the day I moved in I was immediately struck down with that horrible throat virus which left me voiceless back in July but I've taken much better care of myself this time around. I have been resting and steaming and just allowing myself to do nothing so I am back to full vocal health before the new half term starts next week and my next round of concerts which are fast approaching!
Next Saturday I will be singing in the 'Young, Gifted and Green' concert which is part of this year's Manchester Irish Festival. I am honoured to have been asked to perform in this concert and will be making my debut with a Gaelic Irish song. I am hoping my Irish genes will mean that I pull it off without a flaw :-) The evening before I will be singing at an event that the comedian Bobby Ball is speaking at at the Cornerstone Church in Bromley Cross. I am so excited to be singing to such a well known and talented entertainer and I think the evening will be a very special one indeed. I will also be conducting my choir as part of the evening's entertainment. I am then singing in a recital as part of Kearsley Mount Methodist Church's 100 year celebrations. I am a guest soloist at Crag Mann's organ recital and will be performing some opera arias as part of the evenings concert.
So as you can see it is a busy few weeks ahead. As well as that I am back to work, leading my primary school workshops, conducting my choirs and teaching. Now that I am settled into my flat I am hoping to begin some of my own projects. One is a concert of chamber music featuring works for soprano and a various combination of instruments in Bolton and a flash mob style performance in Bolton town centre - WATCH THIS SPACE!!! I am going to spend the next few days gently exercising my chords to get them moving again and I just have to cross everything that she'll be up and running in time for next Friday!!
Until next time dear readers.
Well after a lovely half term it certainly is back to the grind!!! The concert I gave with the lovely Jo Hudson at the Levenshulme Festival was an enormous success. We had as many as 80 people at the concert and we raised £250 for our charities. It was a very moving occasion to be able to sing in the Parish Church I had grown up in. I was made to feel very welcome indeed and it was a privilege to sing to members of the community, my many family, friends and also members of some of my community choirs up in Bolton. Father Ahern who opened and closed the concert quoted a very beautiful extract from John Keats' 'Ode to a Nighingale' which was a wonderful end to a special evening. The support we had was unbelievable and I have all the organisers at The Levenshulme Festival to thank for their incredible publicity and support. There are hopefully some further concerts in the pipeline so watch this space for more information.
Today I am heading back to London for the second time in a week to perform in an Operetta as part of the the Clapham Opera Festival. I do not want to give too much away about the hours long concert we are giving but safe to say it is going to be very good fun and is a very clever way to build a short one Act Opera with music already composed. I have also been invited as the guest soloist to sing with London's LBGT choir 'Diversity'. The concert will be taking place in St James' Piccadilly which is of course one of London's greatest venues. I last performed there in an orchestra with my double bass back in 2006!!! My good and incredibly talented friend Thomas Coltman is the choir's new Musical Director and I am very much looking forward to working with him.
I better get a move on and get packing to catch my train to London. I am currently looking after my nephew as he watches a film about ghost dogs who talk. Hmmmmmmmm, maybe another cuppa and I'll get a move on.
Until next time
Just a quick note to keep you updated. All is going well. Things at the music service are getting busier and busier. As Christmas is creeping up the diary is starting to fill up with various concerts. Its been a couple of years since I have taken part in a Christmas concert. Last year of course I was sailing the Arabian Sea on Minerva so it all quite bypassed me (sigh). I will definitely be making up for it this year though. As well as those I am getting booked up to perform little concerts at various places in and around Bolton which is wonderful. The Levenshulme Festival is next week (eeeek!!!). I am so excited about it. The organisers have been amazing in publicising the event. I have appeared on the front of 2 national newspapers and have had articles in 3 others. Here's hoping that it will generate a massive audience and raise lots of money for our chosen charities.
Next week I am also heading down to London for the first time since I left in July. I cannot tell you have much I am looking forward to it. It feels like I will be going home. Although Manchester is my home my connection and love for London will never ever leave me. I am down to visit friends and also to start rehearsals for the operetta I am singing in as part of the Clapham Opera Festival which is proving to be a huge success already. It will be lovely to work with my Opera Barcarola buddies Natasha Day and Rick Keown. It is over 19 months since we last performed together on our first cruise together on Minerva back in March last year! How time flies!
I have so much to do today!!! Practise, admin and arranging a Beatles song for my choir rehearsal this evening!
Until next time!
PS for those of you wishing to come to next week's concert here us a link to my Just Giving Page or see my Events page for more details http://www.justgiving.com/Georgina-Rosanna-Murray1 and for more information on the Clapham Opera Festival visit http://claphamoperafestival.wordpress.com/
So the date has been set for my recital at the Levenshulme Festival (see my diae I am so so excited about having the opportunity to sing at the Church where I grew up. I decided to provide a programme of songs for the concert rather then an opera gala type of concert. All of the proceeds are being split between my favourite chosen charity Headlines and the Parish Church.
I really do hope that many of you can make it.
Apart from that things are nice and busy at Bolton Music Service. I am loving every minute of it and every day something new and exciting is offered my way. It is a very challenging at times but it is so fulfilling to be in a job where you can utilise all of your skills. So apart from directing 3 community choirs, co directing a school choir and teaching voice I am also teaching double bass, helping with the youth orchestra, the urban band and delivering lessons in the classroom, Its an absolute joy to be involved in all.
I better get back to work. I have 3 pieces that I have to arrange for my school choir this Friday!!!!
Until next time
After a fantastic few weeks settling into life back up north it is time to get back to work for the new teaching term and the new season of concerts. I am so enjoying being back home after all these years. The pace of life is definitely slower and without the hustle and bustle of London life I feel like I can focus more on what I want to do. I love being being closer to my gorgeous boyfriend and being able to spend more time with my family. Moving back to Manchester has definitely been the best decision I have made in years.
I have quite a few exciting concerts coming up in the next couple of months and I need to get cracking with learning the repertoire. I had a lesson with my very first singing teacher yesterday, the amazing dramatic soprano Jane Irwin. It was lovely to see her again in her Blackpool home and have the opportunity to sing to her after all these years (I think it must be 15 years since I was a student of hers). We discussed repertoire for the recital in Levenshulme and I am exploring some songs by Dvorak, Debussy and Strauss. The Operetta is coming along for this year's Clapham Opera Festival. I am really looking forward to heading down to London for rehearsals in the next few weeks.
I will start my new teaching job at Bolton Music Service in a week. I will begin rehearsing my 3 community choirs in the next fortnight and I am exploring repertoire to work on for this season. My boyfriend has a great knowledge of all types of music (I am very rusty on pop music - I can't deny it!) and he has come up with some great suggestions. It will be my first time directing any ensemble so this term will be a great challenge to me but I am facing it head on and hoping to gain so much from this new experience.
I will keep you all updated as much as I can. For now I am looking forward to this weekend as it is birthday celebrations for both my niece and my little sister and a lovely trip to Wales is on the cards for the Bank Holiday Monday.
Enjoy the last of the sunshine dear friends
We finished our 31st and last show of Don Pasquale at Thorpe Tilney in Lincolonshire yesterday. What an epic 8 weeks it has been. I had my final show singing Norina on Friday at Sandringham House and of course true to form I came down with tonsillitis 2 days before. An emergency trip to the doctors and loaded up on antibiotics and pills I managed to sing possibly the best show I have the whole season. I think I was greatly encouraged by having my parents, and my boyfriend (who was hearing an opera for the first time!!) in the audience It was a fantastic production to be in and the school shows as ever were a joy. Bringing opera to young people was the highlight of the whole tour.
So. What next? Well for now I have 2 weeks left in London to pack, tie up loose ends and say good bye before I head back to Manchester. There are a couple of offers in the pipeline for the 2013/14 season but as yet I need to focus on the move and getting myself settled up north before I can make any decisions. For now I am looking forward to a summer off, turning 30!!!!!, visiting my grandparents in France and finally getting some good practise in.
Until next season dear friends. Have a fabulous summer!
Well its been a while since I have written anything. After the disaster of the cruise it was almost 3 weeks before I could sing at full voice again. I began rehearsals for Don Pasquale without so much as being able to squeak my way through it. It was very worrying and frustrating but I was under strict orders to rest my voice as much as possible. This meant I had to cancel a lot of other work just so I could get my voice back to normal. Luckily after a week of limited speaking (much to the delight of everyone lol!!) I was able to gradually sing after about a week and within 2 weeks I was back to myself again.
We completed our rehearsal period yesterday and we begin our 6 week tour tomorrow. 30 shows which include 25 in local schools across London and 6 full shows around the UK and Amsterdam. I am very much looking forward to it.
I have 8 weeks left in London before I head back up to Manchester. I'm hoping to use the time to catch up with as many friends and enjoy being in the city as much as possible before I pack my things up and head home.
Until next time dear friends!
Well am finally home after what I can only say was a very cursed 2 weeks indeed!!! I usually have the absolute time of my life on Minerva and sing some of the best concerts as I am relaxed and full of happiness at being on the ship. This time however I spent most of the 2 weeks in excruciating pain as my wisdom tooth decided that it would be a good idea to start cutting through my gum. Not only did my gum become infected but my jaw and muscles went into a spasm which made the left hand side of my face swell up! The pain was so unbearable that talking, eating and even singing was out of the question I managed to see the on board doctor and get a course of antibiotics but it was a week into the cruise before the pain started to subside. Lucky for me a passenger who was a dentist on board advised me and no sooner did I follow her instructions I started to feel better. I managed to sing the first 2 concerts dosed up to the eyeballs on painkillers and thought that was it.
Sadly that was not the end to my woes. In the third concert I developed an awful frog in my throat which affected my singing voice quite considerably Believe me singing Norina's aria when your chords are not meeting properly is nothing short of a disaster! As the concert progressed my voice became more and more raspy. I soldiered on but knew that something really was not right. The next day I had developed a chest infection with a hacking cough that left me completely hoarse. This meant that sadly I had to pull out of the last concert which is something I have never had to do since becoming a singer. It was so frustrating as not only was I unable to do my job but I had absolutely no energy to enjoy myself on board the ship as she made her journey from Istanbul to Civitivecchia. It was sad that this experience of being on board Minerva is one that I want to forget!!!!
Safe to say I am so glad to be back home.I still have this cough and praying to all the gods that I heal quickly as rehearsals for Don Paswuale start next week!!!!!!
Since my last blog entry I have been in the process of making some big decisions. After living in London for almost 12 years I have decided to move back to my home city of Manchester. For various personal reasons I feel that it is time for a change and going back to my roots is just what I need. London has been such an adventure for me and has given me so many wonderful (and not so wonderful - lol) experiences and I now want to return to my northern motherland and pass on everything I have been taught from this vibrant and exciting city.
I have already had 2 job offers for teaching,one of which is with with Bolton Music Service It is a thriving music service with over 70 ensembles to its name!!! I think that that is quite extraordinary! I think it will be an exciting team to be a part of. The music service is part of a greater institution known as the Greater Manchester Music Hub. Most of the music services in the Greater Manchester region are all part of this dynamic group as well as highly established g such as the BBC Philharmonic and the Halle. I think my new life in the North West is going to be greatly enriched being able to work in such an environment.
Of course I have lots to be getting on with before I move up at the end of July. On Wednesday I head back to the amazing Minerva for a tour to Turkey, Greece and Italy with Opera Barcarola. And no sooner will I be back then I will be straight into rehearsals for Don Pasquale with Pavilion Opera.
I will keep you posted about my travels while I am away but for any of you interested in the Greater Manchester Music Hub here is a link to their website with more information http://www.gmmusichub.co.uk/
Just a little update about what I have been up to since getting back from the amazing Arabian Sea cruise. Currently I am spending a few days with my family in Manchester. Its important to take time out of work just to spend time with loved ones and friends and do normal things like watch TV with my nephew and catch up with my friends over a cup of tea. When I get back to London I have the busiest 4 months of the year. I head to Istanbul in Turkey in 3 weeks to meet Minerva for a 2 week cruise around the Med visiting Greek, some of the Greek Islands, Sicily and Italy with Opera Barcarola. I am of course so excited to be heading back, and so soon as well! After I get back I will be into rehearsals for Don Pasquale. Slowly but surely it is all coming together but there is still much work to do.
I also have my wonderful headshots from Federico Carnevali which I will post in due course. They are absolutely sensational and I will provide contact details when I blog about them when I get back to London.
For now dear friends I hope you all had a fantastic Easter and looking forward to the warmer weather :-) (fingers crossed!!!)
Georgina Rosanna Murray is a Soprano from Manchester.