It’s not often that a singer makes the pieces drop from the glitter ball in the Musgrave Hall but Welsh National Opera’s Claire Wild was a spectacular star of the lunchtime concert this week.
Her performance from Massenet’s Manon thrilled and amazed the girls, her high notes soaring skyward, electrifying staff and pupils. “She’s like Madame Castafiore from Tintin,” whispered an awed member of Remove.
Inspired by Claire’s operatics, pianists Anna, Beatrix, Cici and Natalie, Janice and Daisy produced confident and absorbing performances. Violinists Selina, Vona and Izzy enjoyed their first taste of performance while singers Amirah and Astrid provided evidence, if any were needed, that their masterclass with Claire earlier in the day had been a triumph.
Commenting on the experience, Cici enthused: “At first, I was very nervous. However, Claire was such a professional singer and teacher, that she immediately brought me into the right mood and I have never found singing so easy or realised that there could be so many different ways to perform a song. Not only did she teach me how to sing, but also to understand the character of the song and the story behind it, enabling the emotions of the song to be expressed better. It was an amazing experience and I feel privileged to have been taught by a professional opera singer”.
Aspiring singer and performer, Megan, commented: “It was incredibly useful and fascinating to see how Claire worked with us to learn more about, and manipulate the song. She focused on characterisation, in order to give a better performance. And all in all it was a very fun and enlightening afternoon.”
It certainly isn’t often that pieces fall from glitter balls but then it’s not often that pupils and staff are able to enjoy a world class performance in their lunch hour.