• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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Sophie steps closer to fulfilling her ambition to be a professional opera singer

Aspiring opera singer, Sophie Montgomery, has made her debut with Scottish Opera Young Company and is already looking forward to performing with them next year. Sophie, a Year 13 student at Richmond Sixth Form College, was part of the company’s challenging, dramatic and powerful production of Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice.

The prestigious Scottish Opera brought together promising young operatic talent and seventeen-year-old Sophie was privileged to secure a place. The only English member of the company, she spent 90 hours travelling to Glasgow, every other weekend from September, for rigorous rehearsals, giving up an enormous amount of time whilst studying for her A-levels this summer.

As a chorus member, Sophie played a Furie, a wedding guest and one of the people of Elysium. Playing a Furies Ezlium Spirit involved a rapid change from a Fury to a Spirit, which was done seamlessly with a tear-away costume switching from red to blue.  Sophie was in her element performing opera on stage. Her ambition is to be a professional opera singer one day, so she could not be in a better place than with Scottish Opera to develop her technique and experience. She is thrilled that she is already signed up for next year’s production of Merrily We Roll Along, and she will start rehearsals in September.   Sophie is taking a year out, following her A-levels, and then hopes to pursue her musical studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Sophie is no stranger to success on the stage. She is highly regarded in the North of England operatic circuit, having picked up the esteemed National Operatics and Dramatics Association’s (NODA) youth award for the North of England Region.  Sophie is a versatile performer, as her roles to date demonstrate – she can effortlessly switch from the narrator in Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair lady.  She has been studying singing with Lindsay Ibbotson, of Marske, since she was 11 and regularly sings at concerts and weddings in the area.

Sophie is also a talented actress and regularly treads the boards at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre, in college productions, as part of the Richmondshire Youth Theatre and as a member of Richmond Operatic Society.  However, opera is Sophie’s passion, she says: “I have a dream to be an opera singer; it’s all I want to do. When I sing opera I can feel how it stirs emotions and inspires people, it’s a wonderful feeling to move others through the power of the human voice.”

Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher for Music at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, comments:  “Sophie conveys a fresh and energetic interpretation of opera and it is fabulous that she is grabbing the amazing opportunities from Scottish Opera Youth Company with both hands. It is perfect for her to showcase her vocal and acting talent, she really deserves to be heard.  Sophie is naturally very talented and has a great future ahead of her.”

Jonathon Swinard, Scottish Opera Young Company Artistic Director said: “Sophie is a highly valued and sparky member of the Scottish Opera Young Company. I think we were all impressed by her focus and energy in rehearsals, especially given her long commute up to Glasgow! We look forward to seeing her back for Merrily We Roll Along next year.”

Following her involvement with Scottish Opera, Sophie was invited to be a guest blogger for Broadway World. Read the blog at https://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/09/arts/music-review-budding-artists-for-city-opera-spring.html In addition she is interviewed and sings in the company’s video about the production which can be seen at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vldLyZ_iiEk&feature=youtu.be