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Soprano wins role in Germany

Soprano Michelle Ryan, from Harwood Island, is performing the role of Despina in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar’s (LOSW) 2016 winter session production of Così fan tutte, in Germany. She is pictured at the Maclean civic hall in October last year. Pic: Lynne Mowbray
Harwood Island opera prodigy, Michelle Ryan, has landed a role in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar’s (LOSW) 2016 winter session production of Così fan tutte. Lyric Opera Studio Weimar is a “comprehensive opera training program designed for emerging professional singers considering a career in Europe, with a focus on the German theatre system”. Michelle will play the role of Despina in Mozart’s comic masterpiece – performances will take place from February 7 to March 3 –, in which “two handsome soldiers claim that their fiancées will be forever faithful. However, an “old philosopher joins the discussion and bets the two officers that he can prove in a day’s time that these two women are fickle, just like all women”. In a feature story in the summer edition of Clarence Scene, which traces Michelle’s career path up to her return from an intensive five-week ‘Summer Voice’ program in Munich, she said that she would be returning to Germany. “I’d like to be singing on one of the best stages in Europe; but if that doesn’t happen, I won’t be upset,” she said. “I’ll be happy with whatever comes my way.” Her inclination towards ‘jumping into the deep end’ has served her well so far. “I want to go and immerse myself in [the German opera scene] and experience it,” she said. Her mother, Pearl, said Michelle is presently studying at a German language school three hours a day, four days per week. On her daughter’s plans for the near future, she said that Michelle was applying to do a master’s degree at a Stuttgart university; however, landing a role with an opera company would be an option, too. “Michelle is playing it by ear, will see what opportunities come up and work with them. “Studying and performing [with LOSW] will be a great addition to Michelle’s CV, and she will audition for agents from opera studios as part of the program. “Looking at the ‘Where are they now?’ section on the [LOSW] website, many [students] have gained employment with opera studios.” The website states that: ‘LOSW develops singers through intense daily German language and diction coaching, training in singing, movement, rehearsal process and role study, as well as master classes, individual lessons and stagecraft instruction. “In addition, participants benefit from sessions in audition techniques and career management. Students’ participation in the program culminates with the performance of a role in a fully-staged opera, performed with the LOSW Chamber Orchestra…. “Singers are able to develop the necessary skills to audition and work as artists in the most important sphere of opera – the German-speaking world. “…Each year various state … and private agents hold auditions in Weimar exclusively for LOSW participants.” Read Michelle Ryan’s story, ‘Whatever comes my way’, in the summer edition of Clarence Scene at:, or pick up a copy from distribution points around the valley.