Further honours for OC Soprano Charlotte Hewett
Old Clayesmorian soprano Charlotte Hewett was joint winner of the Royal Northern College of Music Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss 2012. The annual competition, which took place in the RNCM Concert Hall on Wednesday 7 March, is open to fourth year undergraduates and all postgraduate students who intend to undertake a further year of study at the College. First held in 2001, it has been made possible through the inspiration and generosity of Joyce and Michael Kennedy who have been faithful and enthusiastic supporters of the RNCM since its inception.
After completing a preliminary round, the six singers who made it through to the final each performed a 15 minute recital featuring the songs and arias of Richard Strauss. Their performances were judged by Joyce Kennedy, Alexander Crowe, the RNCM’s former Head of Opera Music Staff, and internationally-renowned soprano Lillian Watson.
Lillian, Vocal Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, said: ‘The overall standard surpassed all my expectations. It’s wonderful that RNCM students have been given the opportunity to branch out into the singing of Strauss because it does stretch them and that is invaluable. All competitors had committed themselves 100 per cent to working on the new repertoire and this clearly showed on the night.’
Joyce Kennedy added: ‘All three judges picked Lianne and Charlotte as a potential winner, but none of us could decide between the two so we awarded them joint first prize, something we had never done in the competition before. This year, thanks to the increase in donations we’ve had, both singers received £2000 to further their studies at the College.’