Eleanor Greenwood on stage in China.
Eleanor Greenwood, winner of the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald's Operatic Aria, started 2016 on a high, touring China’s Poly Theatres in a production of La Traviata, alongside a Gala Concert Tour of Operatic Classics. A position in the production was offered to Eleanor directly after her win at the Sydney Eisteddfod, with her breathtaking performance creating a lasting impression. Her victorious 2015 win included a $35,000 scholarship, $5,000 cash, plus airfares to the value of $3,000, which has allowed Eleanor to continue her travels to Berlin, where she will be expanding her operatic knowledge through studying abroad.
Here are some thoughts she has sent through about this amazing experience:
The opportunity to be a cultural ambassador not only for Australia but also for the Operatic art form itself in China was a great privilege to say the least! We performed extensively in many Chinese cities and for some of our audiences it was their first time hearing Western European Opera in their lives. Their responses to our performances were extremely enthusiastic, warm and authentic, they would cheer and clap during our performance at unexpected moments and in some cities we were treated like rock stars!
The theatres in China were extremely large, impressive and beautiful to look at, with outstanding facilities available. As a young singer it was inspiring to see these facilities – what a commitment to the importance of the arts! We also performed in concert halls, which were different to the theatres but equally as beautiful and a particular highlight was performing in the beautiful Qintai Concert Hall in Wuhan.
Traveling around and performing every second night in a different city, and in a different acoustic environment required stamina and flexibility- all good qualities to practice as an artist! It was incredible to see not only the size of the country and each city, but also the cultural richness of the people in China and their love of the performing arts, particularly Opera.