Opera Now: Close Encounters - Pop-up Concerts

Original article in Opera Now by Coriander Stuttard | In an age of ‘pop-ups’, when restaurants, fashion and experiences spring up and then disappear, leaving yo wanting more, it’s not surprising that classical music has joined the trend. But for two classical music pop-up ventures, Debut Treehouse and Classical Pop-Ups, there is much more behind them that a short-lived gimmick. And through ticketing partnerships with Airbnb they are finding they can suddenly reach out to new audiences who, in pop-up style, are left with open minds and a thirst for discovering more.

Lizzie Holmes, a 28-year-old soprano, founded Debut in 2015, inspired and helped by Philip Carne, founder of the Carne Trust, which supports young talent in the performing arts. Holmes wanted to showcase emerging singers…

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Shoreditch Secrets: Concert in a Shoreditch Treehouse

Original article in The Stage Shoreditch by Cari Thomas | A penthouse treehouse… located in the middle of Shoreditch... containing a Steinway concert grand piano. A series of increasingly implausible statements. There’s another: this is the location of a monthly opera and classical music concert known as Debut Treehouse.

You’ll find the treehouse just off Shoreditch’s busy Great Eastern Street. It is in fact a bohemian loft space on the top floor of an apartment building. However, step inside and it feels every bit a treehouse: an expanse of space, polished wooden floors, wooden ceilings, thick beams adorned with fairylights and brightly coloured Nepalese prayer flags, eclectic furniture and ornaments from around-the-world travels, green foliage and a large indoor olive tree. Throw in a hammock chair and a swing and you have been transported to the treetops of distant and magical woods.

I met with its owner Ross Elder to find out how this unique location has become the setting for these increasingly popular music events. The Debut Treehouse concerts, which are held every last Sunday of the month, are being booked up weeks in advance and have just been voted the second best Airbnb experience out of its 3100 experiences across the world. During the evening the audience is treated to…

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Ian Tindale: Music can be an escape and an inspiration

On the day of our interview Ian is moving house – no small feat for the average man, let alone one with a Yamaha factored into the equation! - And yet, in a similar vein to how he approaches being interviewed whilst house moving, he can do it all – pianist, accompanist, répétiteur, organist, harpsichordist, and orchestral keyboard player - and all with the utmost finesse.

He'd wouldn't shout it from the rooftops, but Ian's won pretty much all of the major accompanist prizes (Ferrier Awards, Royal Overseas League, Help Musicians UK... the list goes on), and though musicality literally seeps from his fingertips, in person he's unassuming, funny and inherently - normal.

This week Ian is in Heidelberg, Germany, competing in the bi-annual International Song Competition 'Das Lied'

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interviewLizzie Holmes
Katie Coventry on her English National Opera debut

Katie's journey to the English National Opera's stage for her debut in the revival of Mike Leigh’s Pirates of Penzance has been the quintessential dream of many a fledgling opera singer.

Building on solid foundations at the Royal College of Music, Katie progressed through the Graduate Diploma (predominately for students who didn't train at a conservatoire for their undergraduate - Katie did her BA in History and Music at Royal Holloway, University of London) through the 2 year Masters and into the Benjamin Britten Opera School. Katie is quickly gaining deserved renown for the beauty and power of her voice and her magnetic presence on stage.

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interviewLizzie Holmes
Julien Van Mellaerts - Competition Success & Dealing with Nerves

How do competitions like the Wigmore International Song Competition and Ferrier Awards help young singers? What is their purpose, and how can they help the emerging artist in a world where jobs and opportunities in the world of performing classical music are becoming increasingly more, well… competitive!? Here, we take a look at just a few of the reasons singers enter into the world of competitive performing, and do a Q&A with baritone Julien Van Mellaerts following his recent competition successes.

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interviewLizzie Holmes
A Night at the (Shoreditch) Proms

This month, the BBC Proms are being transformed in the heart Shoreditch with Debut Opera’s upcoming #DOshoreditch night, the ‘Shoreditch Proms.’ The Proms have become one of the greatest annual musical traditions here in Britain, proudly taking up the Royal Albert Hall every summer with triumphant flag waving and regular season goers queuing in the sun for tickets to see some of the best classical music the world has to offer. But to save you the wait in the rain (cos’ let’s be honest, it’s England, and it’ll be raining...) Debut Opera are bringing the best music from the proms to a venue a little closer to home: the Shoreditch Treehouse. Instead of standing in the gallery you’ll be greeted with beanbags, sofas and even a tree swing, so you can sit back and relax as you and hear some of the best young artists performing the classics that have made the Proms great.

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Lizzie Holmes
'Loft Party Meets Musical Soiree' - Q&A with Debut's Lizzie Holmes

Original article by Felicity Carol for Arthur's Seat | Debut has been on our radars for over a year, and is definitely a company worth keeping an eye on. A platform for the UK’s finest fresh-faced opera talent, they aim to bridge the worlds of opera and events – as well as hosting monthly nights in Shoreditch (Debut Treehouse) designed to redefine notions of the artform. Felicity caught up with its founder, former Phantom of the Opera performer Lizzie Holmes, to find out more.

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