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Clare Presland


1. How did you start singing?

At the age of 3 (yes 3!) I began having dancing lessons. By 11 my attentions were drawn to all aspects of theatre, performing Shakespearian monologues at school and taking part in courses at The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. By 13 I decided I wanted to be an actress and felt that if I had some singing ability this would strengthen my chances. I asked my parents whether I could have some singing lessons....they agreed to a few to ‘see how I got on’ (at this point nobody had ever heard me sing a note!)

I had previously performed in two productions with the Voice Squad and asked the director Birgitta Kenyon to teach me. I still remember her asking me to sing a selection of exercises to which she responded ‘oh, you kept this a secret!’ From that moment on I haven’t stopped!

2. Is your family musical?

My immediate family are not at all. However, my mother’s side of the family are Irish and enjoy a good bellow around the table! A song is ALWAYS demanded from me on my trips there!

3. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Ooooohhhhh too many! To name a few:

Julie Andrews - I grew up watching Marry Poppins most weekends and wishing I was in it! Kathleen Ferrier - for her strength of character. Agnes Baltsa - for the most amazing timbre and use of colours in her singing. Renee Fleming - her voice makes me cry!

4. What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

I really have too many. I love performing and I adore being on stage!

5. What advice would you give to those who wish to embark on a professional concert music career?

Always trust your instinct and go with it! FULLY!

6. How often and for how long do you practice?

This depends on my schedule. Ideally I practice at least five days a week, both vocally - by singing exercises and repertoire AND mentally - by studying the music score.

7. Do you or would you like to teach music?

Yes I do teach and I really enjoy it. It is such a reward to see pupils develop.

8. If you could be granted to perform alongside an operatic star living or dead, who would it be and why?

Maria Callas. A woman with such depth of emotion. She really moves me.

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