Messages from our foundation singers - Tom Atkins
Posted on 22 December 2016
Having popped out the other end of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama earlier in the year, I found myself out in the “real world” armed with a few bits of paper certifying my ability as a musician and the best education a young singer could ever ask for. I was ready to take my first steps into the wonderful world of opera. And it certainly has been wonderful so far.
2016 has been a busy year for me and has been jam-packed with professional ‘firsts’. There is simply too much to tell in this short report but I’ll name a few highlights. My first step as a professional musician/entertainer/singer/opera-singer/classical-singer/whatever-you-may-call-it came in the form of a Chorus contract at Glyndebourne where I was a Jerwood Young Artist and found myself involved in four productions meaning 53 performances, five recitals and a cover show (Vogelgesang, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) all in the space of a few months. Talk about jumping in the deep end!
My contract at Glyndebourne finished at the end of August, and a few days later I walked through the stage door of the Royal Opera House for the first time as a Jette Parker Young Artist. As you enter the building you can feel the wealth of talent, knowledge and experience buzzing in the air.
To say it’s inspiring is to understate it completely, but there’s no word I can find that correctly defines the feeling. The next year at the ROH promises to bring a whole host of incredible experiences, including four main stage productions (Der Rosenkavalier, Adriana Lecouvreur, The Exterminating Angel and Otello) as well as recitals and concerts. However, tomorrow has it’s own excitement as I have my first rehearsal for a ROH main stage production (Major Domo, Der Rosenkavalier) and will make my Royal Opera debut with the opening night of Oreste (Pilade) at Wilton’s Music Hall.
This career is one that is impossible to achieve without the support of others. We can be born with the talent and have the drive to succeed, but without a solid foundation and support network everything would quickly fall apart. My heart is overflowing with thanks to every single person that has helped me get to where I am today. Although I am only at the starting line of my career, I wouldn’t be here without the support I’ve been truly blessed to receive.