When you were a Choral Scholar here?
During my glory days: 2010 - 2012
What attracted you to be a Choral Scholar?
The promise of great music every week, excellent colleagues and all the incense I could eat.
What did you get out of the experience?
Fantastic friends, the ability to read plainchant and the knowledge to not say ‘sorry’ in the middle of solo lines (which unfortunately did happen once).
What did you go on to do after you left?
After I left Nottingham, I had a year off to learn new things and audition for music colleges. I went on to do a Masters in Vocal Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, followed by their opera course. After that, I spent a further year at the National Opera Studio before heading out into the real world.
What are you doing now and anything coming up?
For the last couple of years, I’ve been singing professionally and working around the UK and France.
I’ve been a Harewood Artist at English National Opera since 2017 and have performed several roles there. I’m about to start rehearsals for my largest role so far - Leporello in Garsington Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni - which will be staged this Summer. I will make my Welsh National Opera debut early next year as Figaro in their production of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro - a role I’ve performed once before during my student days at the University of Nottingham.
I have also a range of concert engagements including Gloucester: Three Choirs Festival in July singing the role of Brander in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust alongside Sarah Connolly (Marguerite), Christopher Purves (Méphistophélès) & Peter Hoare (Faust)
Further details can be found at www.davidirelandsings.com
When were you a choral scholar?
From September 2013 to June 2014, during my gap year.
What did you get out of the choral scholarship experience?
Amongst the wealth of benefits, I have to pick the massive increase in my sight-reading ability, the huge range of repertoire I sang over the year and wonderful social life within the choir! Moreover, the opportunity to perform in a variety of concerts and different performance situations. It was a vital part of my musical and social development!
Tell us about any musical highlights
A particular highlight of mine was the joint performance of Duruflé Requiem with St Barnabas and St Mary’s Choir and the Orchestra of the Restoration, performing the mezzo-soprano solo, as it was my first time performing as a soloist with choir and orchestra. It was so exciting to not only stand up in front of a large audience and perform such beautiful music, but to also see my name, picture and biography featured in the programme! Other highlights included the BBC Radio Nottingham Christmas Broadcast in 2013, the Cathedral Flower and Music Festival and performing Britten’s Hymn to St Cecilia, which is a piece that has really resonated with me!
What have you been up to following your time at the Cathedral?
I studied Music at the University of York from 2014-17 and had the time of my life performing a huge variety of choral, operatic and contemporary music! I was a founding member of the York based Aspect Opera, performing Britten’s chamber operas The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring. I was an Alto Scholar with Genesis Sixteen from 2016-17, the training scheme run by The Sixteen’s Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan. Furthermore, since graduating I have been working as a Freelance Soloist and spending a year as a Fellow of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, receiving top quality training in performance and music education, alongside performing as an octet at various events, such as the London A Cappella Festival.
What does the future hold?
In September 2018, I shall begin my studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the MMus Performance Course, where I shall continue my studies to become an opera singer and hone my craft.