Soprano Zoe Drummond, finalist in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship and the Opera & Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship (30 & Under), recently discussed her love of Opera and performing with Sydney Eisteddfod. After completing a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music this year, Zoe discussed what she hopes to achieve in the future.
What inspired your passion for opera?
My passion for opera grew from my passion for classical music theatre! I adored the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Flanders and Swann, and even Andrew Lloyd Webber. From this, I discovered cross-over music ... and then fell in love with opera!
Who inspired you to start singing?
I am not sure what inspired me to start singing, but I do know I have been singing for as long as I have been talking! I have incredibly supportive parents who provided me with a huge range of musical experiences from a young age, so I am very thankful to them.
Tell us about the songs you chose to perform at the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Final and why you chose them.
At the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Final I performed Einst träumte meiner sel'gen Base from Der Freischütz by Weber, and Quando m'en vo from La Boheme by Puccini. I chose these pieces because I really love singing them, and I think together they show a range of character, technique, style and timbre.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to? Why?
My favourite performer to listen to tends to change all the time, however I always love the artistry of Joyce Di Donato, Renee Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Barbara Bonney and Yvonne Kenny. I also love discovering new sopranos - I recently saw Sondra Radvanovsky as Manon Lescaut at Covent Garden, and she was just phenomenal!
Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my beautiful family, because they are so strong. By my friends, most of whom are singers, all committing their life to the practice. I am also inspired by my singing students, who are so cute and so eager; and by the simultaneous enormity and closeness of the world, by the music and stories themselves.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
Someone once said to me, 'The audience are here to have a good time, and to be told a story'. This thought really puts everything in perspective for me. It is so easy to get swallowed up in your own technical concerns and forget what your original purpose of performing is.
What are you hoping to achieve next?
I am looking forward to lots of work in Australia over the next few months, and then I hope to move to Europe to expand my singing horizons there!