“Someone who inspires you”
Today Charlotte Whittle, Dramatic Soprano, who has studied with me for the last couple of years and who is now starting her first steps into a career, tells you about her experience as a singing student. The stage is yours Charlotte!
“I remember the first day I met Vera. Walking through the doors of her studio and singing Contessa’s aria “Porgi Amor.” I was nervous and did not know what to expect, my throat was tight and I had no breath support whatsoever, when she finally looked at me and said: “Charlotte, you are not a Lyric Soprano, you are a Dramatic Soprano.” These words I will never forget. I cried with relief knowing I had finally found a teacher, besides my musical coach George Gordon, who knew what my real voice type is. So how did I get from that point to present day? Well, at home in Scotland I took on three jobs to enable me to come to Zürich every month (you can imagine I was exhausted, but this lifestlye is not uncommon for a Musician when you want to achieve your dreams.) I worked and studied at home, preparing for my monthly Swiss trips, and when I arrived in Zürich I stayed at the cheapest BnB and ate the smallest meals, all so I could afford more coachings, voice lessons and German lessons. I have worked so intensively with Vera over these years with her fabulous team of coaches at the Institute Stimmkunst to sculpt my voice into it’s fullest potential. It has taken a lot of work and dedication from both sides and I really honour the process I went through to get me to the point now in my life in which I am being offered jobs. It feels incredible to be able to fly into these singing jobs with a freedom that comes with the vocal technique that Vera teaches, and also with the knowing that I am singing with the whole of me – body and soul aligned – and that I can trust this. After all the ups and downs, struggles and rollercoaster ride of my past years of singing without proper technique in the wrong vocal Fach, and all the hard work it took to get here, I’m so happy to be at the point where I’m able to sing roles like Sieglinde, Elisabeth, Leonora etc. In those times of working three jobs, it was my faith that kept me going and strong belief that I’m meant to sing in this life, and I simply cannot do anything else – life wouldn’t make sense. Thankfully all this hard work paid off and this summer I’m excited to be performing with the Director of Music for Dundee University a variety of Art Songs and with Phil Jupitus at the Largo Arts Festival. I’m grateful to be returning to the Byre Theatre, and later this year singing Mozart’s Donna Elvira and Elettra with orchestra ✨
To all you young singers out there, be brave enough to follow your heart and listen to your voice. Find what feels good, but mostly work your little socks off! Life will reward you ❤️”
Photo: Charlotte Whittle as Sieglinde (Die Walküre) in the Institut Stimmkunst June Concert 2019