Joelend Griffith. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Soprano Joelene Griffith, a finalist in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, recently spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod about how she developed a passion for Opera and who her favourite performers to listen to are. She also shared what she hopes to achieve in the near future.
What inspired your passion for opera?
I was very lucky to have a primary school music teacher that was a big opera fan. In my very first year of primary school he staged a greatly simplified and cut down vision of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Children from the older years played the solo roles and the younger children made up the chorus. The experience made a huge impression on me and my interest in opera grew from there. We went on to do several other school age friendly productions such as Britten’s The Little Sweep but the Magic Flute is still one of my most favourite Operas.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?
I like so many performers! Mariella Devia has to be one of my favourite voices. She has such a warm tone even in her very high register and such an effortless vocal production. Sabine Devieilhe and Natalie Dessay are coloratura sopranos that are both very inspiring. Even though they sing some of the most complex repertoire ever written, they are both great communicators and really convey a detailed character portrayal in their performances.
What are you hoping to achieve next?
I’m hoping to continue to grow and develop as a performer. There is so much amazing music to discover and learn. I have also been offered the opportunity to further my studies overseas and I am looking forward learning from some wonderful teachers and coaches and exploring a new country.
Do the neighbours complain when you practice?
I’m very lucky that at the moment, I live on the edge of the national park and the few neighbours that I have are tolerant of my singing. However, in the past it has been a problem. I once had to move house because the lady in the next unit would yell expletives very loudly every time practiced and on several occasions went so far as to call the police.