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After completing his music degree at the Russell group University of York, which he attended from 2014 -
One of the things that anyone moving to somewhere completely new, especially when the move is not in the first instance part of attending a university, is to build up a circle of friends. Fortunately this is something that Greg’s sociable nature makes reasonably easy for him. He used his love of performance initially to meet new people and joined a theatre group and a choir. The image to the right is of him wrapped up warmly against the cold of his first Berlin winter just before singing a Christmas Concert with the choir in one of Berlin’s beautiful churches.
A particularly busy end to 2018 sadly left no time for community group activities. After initially using on line resources and of course day to day life in a German speaking city for extending and improving his German language skills Greg enrolled at a private language school in September and commenced an intensive study programme for the intermediate language competency qualifications recognised by the German government. He has also started teaching part time at one of Berlin’s International Schools, where his native English speaker status is an important asset; he teaches sessions involving story, music and movement with young students which he is enjoying very much. Greg did find the time to perform one professional engagement in the lead up to Christmas after he was approached to sing at a private Christmas party in Berlin for some of the Doctors who work in the city and is already booked for a Christmas engagement this year also.
To read more about his life in Berlin please see the Berlin page.
The aria‘ O del mio dolce ardor’ is from the opera Paride ed Elena by Gluck; the plot of which covers the events that occurred between the judgement of Paris (Paride) to the flight of Paris and Helen (Elena) to Troy. The opera premiered in November 1770. In the aria Paride declares his love for Elena singing that
The air which you breathe,
At last I will breathe -
…a familiar and recurring sentiment expressed in songs of love by suitors across the centuries.
Listen and enjoy the high notes.
For a period in September 2018 it seemed as if Greg might have had a uproot himself all over again and relocate to Paris. He was thrilled to be one of just a few chosen from hundreds of applicants to be called to audition for the Opera Bastille in Paris for a role in an opera that they will be staging next year in 2019, Les Indes galantes, an opéra-
For the audition Greg had to prepare a solo piece of his own choosing to be sung in French and also learn part of the libretto from one of the scenes in the Second Act of the opera. He decided that he would spend almost a week in Paris to give himself the chance to settle in before the audition and to allow for some time for tourist type activity after it was completed. He attended the audition very conscious that just being called to audition for one of the world’s great opera houses was an enormous achievement. He was pleased with his delivery of his solo aria and was very happy to be asked to place himself in a position of prominence for the group choreography element of the audition. Unfortunately, this part of the process also highlighted for himself and others that his technical French was not perhaps going to be of a standard needed to take direction in a French production when some translation of the moves the auditionees were being asked to perform was necessary. He was disappointed then, but not altogether surprised when a few days after returning to Berlin he was informed that he had not been selected…c’est la vie. Greg took the image to the right, the entrance for performers and, as is so often the case, slightly less grand than the entrance for the public.
Welcome, whether you have been following Greg since he first came to the attention of the media or have just ‘discovered’ him a good place to start may be the ‘Been there….’ page, and its sub-
If you delight in Greg’s high notes why not listen to the recording below of one of the arias he performed for a summer recital in 2017. If you would like to find some biographical details on Greg then the ‘Low Downs’ page will provide visitors to this site with some background information on him . As well as biographical details the ‘Low Downs’ page has information on tutoring that Greg has done, choirs that he has sung with and information on an invitation to appear in a rarely performed opera in Mayfair.
Details of the range of music courses that Greg has attended in recent years can be found on the Opera Courses page and its sub-
In the summer of 2016 Greg attended an intensive week long course taught by the Cambridge Early Music organisation and had a full bursary to return in 2017. In 2016 Greg had attended a Summer School at Jesus College Cambridge hosted by Cambridge Early Music who provide intensive study weeks in historically informed performance of early music. He was invited to apply for a place in 2017 also and received a full bursary for attendance of the Monteverdi Legacy Summer School which took place the first week in August 2017 at Girton College; read about his time there on the Opera Courses page.
Also In August 2017 Greg sang in an all male production of Tosca. Greg sang soprano with the chorus and was also a cover for the shepherd boy’s aria ‘Io de sospiri Mia’. Tosca was the second all male opera production that Greg had performed in -
Performance contact details and a ‘Message for Greg’ box, which he really enjoys receiving, can be found on the ‘Contacts’ page.
Back to Wales
Greg has by no means entirely left the UK and even though he determinedly stayed and celebrated both his December birthday and Christmas in Berlin in 2017 he has returned to the UK , going home to Wales, regularly. In January 2018 he visited to see family and friends; he was also delighted to accept an invitation to appear, at the end of October 2018, at a charity event for the Terrence Higgins Trust Wales.
In August this year Greg came home once again to see family and friends and also this time combined his time with attending a Summer School at the Wales International Academy of Voice. Going back home to Wales is always a little frenetic with many friends wanting to have a chance of a chat and catch up. Combining social engagements with an intense period of full time study proved to be a little hectic.
Greg has regularly attended Summer Schools with a variety of establishments both before and during his time at the University of York. He has attended and enjoyed Summer Schools with the National Opera Studio in London and the Cambridge Early Music Organisation. In 2017 he gained a fully funded place on one of their summer programmes of study and would have attended a second week had it not clashed with rehearsal and performance commitments that he had already made with the Carmina Priapea opera company to perform in a production they staged of Tosca, details of which can be found on the Tosca page.
Greg looked forward to attending the WIAV Summer School, especially as he had not had the opportunity to go to one in 2018. The Wales International Academy of Voice is part of the University of Wales Trinity St David and offers full time undergraduate and post graduate programmes of study as well as a Summer School. This year the Summer School afforded the students attending the opportunity to sing for a number of internationally renowned performers including the soprano Rosemary Joshua who is the head of the Dutch National Opera Studio and Della Jones who has appeared with all the leading British opera companies and undertaken foreign engagements throughout the world. Greg has previously worked with Della Jones when she was a tutor on one of the National Opera studio courses he attended. Greg found this years WIAV Summer School immensely enjoyable and all of the vocal coaches incredibly supportive. He completed the two weeks feeling vocally rejuvenated and ready to start a new chapter, details of which will follow.