Front of House Young Artist of the Month
CHARLOTTE CORDEROY Conductor
We talk to the British conductor as she prepares to conduct Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Three Choirs Festival How did you discover conducting as a career option? I grew up singing in youth choirs and I eventually took up the organ. During my undergraduate degree organ scholarship, I was always itching for the services where I could come down from the loft and work with the singers! It was at university that I was given my first opportunities to conduct orchestras and, eventually, opera singers. I quickly realised that, in conducting, I’d found where I felt happiest and most inspired. No two singers ever look at a score in the same way, and that’s what I find fascinating.
What’s one thing you want audiences to know about being a conductor? I’m often asked whether it would actually make any difference to a performance if I wasn’t there! People are sometimes surprised to hear that what you see ‘on the night’ is only one tiny part of the job. I was once told that conducting is as much an exercise in diplomacy, people-skills and empathy as it is musicianship, and so far that’s felt pretty accurate. Ultimately, I feel my job is to help get the best out of musicians and scores alike. And yes, there are baton shops. Far fewer sparks than you see in Harry Potter, though!
What can you tell us about conducting Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress at the Three Choirs Festival? Musically, I think it’s a wonderful melting-pot of all the ‘best bits’ of Vaughan Williams’ mind; it takes the ear on a wonderful journey through his development as a composer over almost 50 years of his life. I can’t wait to hear the RPO bring his score to life. It’s definitely a challenging work, and one that toys with less conventional story-telling and pacing, so in some ways it is a little daunting and perhaps that’s why it’s performed less often.
What’s up next for you? Next in the diary operatically I’m assisting Barbara Hannigan on The Rake’s Progress with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
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6 August 2023 OperaNow www.pentatonemusic.com
Distributed in the UK by www.operanow.co.uk
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