Blink and You’ll Miss It!

Digital Ambassador Madison Horman talks us through her highlights from the first few weeks of 2022.

Soprano Madison Horman in front of a mirrorWhen people say, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, I’ve always been sceptical. However; as I get older and more immersed in College life, I couldn’t agree more.

It seems like only a blink ago I was stuck at home isolating with the one they call Covid… you know what they say; ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer!’ So with 2022 off to a cracking start, I was hesitant that the rest of the term would drag on and that the bad luck I’d welcomed in the new year would continue. But honestly, somehow we are now at the mid-term break and I don’t know where the time has gone!

Once I could safely return to College, everything was off at a quick pace. Just before the Autumn Term ended, the casting and music was assigned for RNCM Opera Scenes that would take place in the new year. The scene I was cast in was the Act 2 sextet from Mozarts Don Giovanni. This is such a fantastic scene and the role of Donna Elvira is one I hope to perform in its entirety some day, so it was a joy to be able to bring a small section of her to life.

Rehearsals welcomed back the talented Stuart Barker from British Youth Opera as director. I had recently worked with Stuart in December when he directed the double bill of Ariadne auf naxos and The Medium. Students in our Vocal Studies and Opera department are incredibly fortunate to be able to work with directors from the industry as it gives you a taste as to how things run in the professional world.

Soprano Madison Horman in RNCM Opera Scenes

On top of preparing my scene, I’ve also been busy with constant competition preparation. I thought long and hard about entering the RNCM Gold Medal as the competition is tough with it being open to all Schools. In the end, I decided it would be a great opportunity to perform some of the repertoire from my Master’s final rectal from last year. I absolutely loved my programme so this was a wonderful way to perform some of those pieces again.

I’ve found during my time at College, that it’s not the winning that matters with entering competitions. Yes winning is wonderful, and yes there can be disappointment in not getting the result/outcome you desired. However, it’s the joy and excitement of being able to prepare and perform repertoire that you love that counts.

Soprano Madison Horman in RNCM Opera Scenes

On the first day back after mid-term break, I’ll be competing in the semi-final of the Royal Over-Seas League competition in London. This has a large repertoire requirement, so each week in the lead up to it I’ve been signing up to as many performance classes, language classes and coaching sessions as possible. A big highlight last week was performing one of my pieces to the international visiting tutor Christopher Purves. He has such a way of connecting with the students he works with in these classes as well as those observing that you can’t help but take onboard every word. I received some incredible feedback, which not only has given me a boost in confidence going forward into this competition, but was extremely re-assuring to know that working professionals can see the amount of dedication and work that has gone into training and preparing for this.

Now that we’re in mid-term break, I’m sure I speak on behalf of most music students, that although we’ll likely take a day or two off, not having classes will allow us to catch up on our admin and of course practice practice practice – if not more than usual given the extra time we’ll have on our hands!

A piano with opera scores

The rest of this academic year I’m sure will continue to be fast paced as things roll around. I’m absolutely loving working with my chamber music group which consists of myself, a pianist and cellist and I’m looking forward to preparing our programme for our end of year assessment. We have been working on collating a nice selection of pieces to ensure we can deliver a well balanced programme. I’m also getting to work on learning new repertoire for my final recital this year. Like competitions in which you are being assessed, final recitals are always a great way to perform repertoire you love and know well, as it really makes a huge difference to how you perform them.

Once this academic year comes to a close, I’ll be sad to end my time at the RNCM, as I’ve had such a wonderful time making new friends and building relationships over the last three years. However, as one chapter closes, another one begins and I’m very excited to move to London in September, and begin the opera course at the RAM.

So even though we still have a term and a half left, as I finish my time at the RNCM in four months I’ll yet again wonder where the time has flown to. I’d better not blink or I might just miss it!

Madison Horman
PGDip Soprano

15 February 2022