Introducing beautiful soprano, Germaine D’Rosario. Artists like Germaine are exactly why I created this blog – I love to support musicians and artists regardless of who they are
where they’ve come from, or what they do. They are dedicated, committed and passionate. They work hard to get to where they want and need to be, and won’t stop until they reach where they are meant to be. I found Germaine, like many of other artists through the powers of social media, and from the moment heard her Soundcloud clip of “Un bel di vedremo”, I just had to get her on Meander to share her enthusiasm and her story.
Germaine’s story is hugely refreshing, and goes to show that pure love for something can go a long, long way. Her voice is a delight, it soars with an impressive range, allowing her to sing from heavy operas we know and love, to musical theatre classics, classical crossover and more. Her talent is undeniable, her fierce adoration for singing couldn’t be more obvious!
I’m so happy to share our chat, and hope that you’ll take as much inspiration from it as I did.
HI Germaine, welcome to Meander! How’s it going?
Hello, yes I’m very well, thank you!
So, lets talk about you. Can you give us a little history as to when you’re interest in singing sprang from?
I’ve always loved singing! My dad was a self-taught musician so I believe my musicality was inherited from him. I do remember that, from a very young age, I would sing along to my dad’s records which were mainly rhythm and blues and rock and roll. I was also an enthusiastic member of my primary school choir and over the years, I’ve sung with a number choirs, including my church choir.
I really can’t remember a time when I did not enjoy singing, but it was only after performing with a local theatre group and hearing some of the lovely comments from the cast and the audience that I realized I had a voice which was worth developing with singing lessons. After several years of study, which continue to this day, I felt ready to release two back to back classical singles in 2014.
Your repertoire is incredible. You sing opera, oratorio, musicals and classical crossover works. That’s a huge range – and all requires such different technique! What do you love to sing the most?
The songs and arias I enjoy singing the most, and which I believe is right for my voice, tend to the ones with a powerful soaring vocal line, but the songs also have to be meaningful and move me in some way. I loved the ethereal feeling of “Winter Light” and the beautiful and emotive“You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
However, I suppose, what I enjoy singing the most are arias from verissimo operas, particularly those by Puccini. I loved recording “Un bel di vedremo” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”; not only was it the fulfilment of a life-time ambition, but the wonderful music and the human story and emotions expressed in the lyrics was a just joy to sing.
Where did you learn all of your technique skills?
I don’t have a degree in music or drama but instead developed a lot of the skills and techniques when performing with theatre groups, opera companies and choirs. Of course I have also undertaken the vocal training I mentioned earlier; initially this was basic singing lessons with John Yates, then later, classical vocal training with Colin Morris and more recently, advanced vocal and repertoire study with baritone and opera director, Wayne Morris.
Does your musical interest lie solely across the classical music genre or do you take pleasure in listening to all sorts of genres?
I only started listening to classical music as a young adult, and opera, later still. Prior to that, I tended to listen to “pop” and “soul” music, as well as my dad’s music, which I mentioned earlier; so now, my taste in music can best be described as eclectic! If I want to relax, then I’d probably listen to classical music, opera, or the music of classical crossover artists like Sarah Brightman or Enya. The rest of the time I will listen to other genres including songs currently in the charts. I also enjoy listening to rock bands like Queen and some of my favourite female artists are Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Adele, Sia and Amy Winehouse.
Who is your ultimate favourite classical singer?
I love Maria Callas in roles such as “Norma” or “La Traviata” or “Tosca”. I also enjoy watching Anna Netrebko because she is not only a very beautiful soprano with an equally beautiful voice, but she is also a terrific actress too. However, the soprano I tend to listen to the most is Dame Joan Sutherland; I just love the agility and sheer beauty and purity of her voice.
If you could perform on stage with any artists in the world, who would it be and why?
I would love to perform with the world’s top opera stars, like Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, Placido Domingo and Jonas Kauffman; I admire their talent and it would be both a pleasure and a privilege to perform with them. I would also love to perform with Sarah Brightman, not only because she is an amazing artist, but I love the sheer spectacle of her concerts and it would be great to be a part of that.
What is your all-time favourite piece to sing?
It has to be “Un bel di vedremo”. I loved this aria the first time I heard Renata Scotto sing it, and it was then that I knew I wanted to sing opera. It is a beautiful aria and I love singing it.
How do you prepare before a big performance?
Practise, practise, practise! I like to allow myself plenty of time for learning the music and for rehearsing, although I always stop singing at least a day before the performance date; during this time I will just relax at home and listen to my favourite music. However, a few hours before the performance, I like to have a quick, gentle vocal warm up. Poor health shows in the voice, so a healthy diet and exercise is important. As part of my training as a singer, I visit the gym and go swimming. Finally, on the day of the performance, I ensure everything is organized and that I arrive at the venue in good time so I can just relax and focus on the performance ahead.
What would say are the main qualities needed to become a successful classical singer?
I believe you to have natural musicality and vocal ability, but also the desire and ability to learn new skills and techniques. I also don’t think it’s enough to just have a beautiful voice; the world’s top opera and classical singers show us that you also have to be a superb actor and performer and have “stage presence”. It can also seem that there many obstacles in the way of you achieving success and it could be so easy to give up. I therefore believe that, whilst it is important to take on board constructive criticism, a positive attitude and confidence your own ability is essential.
What do you have planned for 2016? I read that there may be an album coming up in the near future…?
Yes that’s right! There are a couple of singles that I am looking forward to recording, but I am also really excited about releasing my first album this year. It will be classical-crossover album as I am hoping it will appeal to a wider audience. I can’t write my own material so the tracks will all be covers, but they all songs and ballads that I’ve always loved listening to and singing, and which I think is right for my voice. There is a mix of traditional and modern ballads, songs from musicals and other popular classical crossover tracks.
Thanks so much for talking to us! We wish you all the best in your singing career.
Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you and I wish you continued success with “Meander”.