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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Alexander Rosenblatt, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall, Kazue Yanagida

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Kazue Yanagida

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柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

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Renae Willard (lyric soprano) and Wai-Yin Lee (piano)

Tue Sep 14th 2010, 12:15 pm ◀ This event has finished
Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TJ


Artist info

Renae Willard

Renae Willard, originally from the United States, has very recently moved to London to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music. Since her September arrival, she has performed in the College’s scenes program, singing Angelica from Handel’s Orlando and Fiordeligi from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. She also won the Vocal Round of the Royal College’s Concerto Competition, singing Strauss’s Fier Letzte Lieder. Ever since this win, she has dedicated herself to Concerto repertoire, and hopes that the genre will play a major role, alongside Opera, in her career.

Renae was asked to sing in a solo aria and art song concert at the Jussi Bjorling Museum, sponsored by the city of Borlange, Sweden. She received good reviews from the Borlange Tidning Newspaper “She clearly has a bright career ahead of her.” She also gave a recital a Boston’s French Library, and other Bostonian venues. she also has extensive scenes performance experience. At the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, she performed in scenes from Idomeneo (Ilia), La Clemenza di Tito (Servilia), L’elisir D’amore (Adina), and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Drusilla). While completing her Undergraduate degree at the New England Conservatory, she participated in the Conservatory’s Opera Seminar Program, and performed in scenes from Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Blondchen), Romeo et Juliette (Juliette), and The Old Maid and the Thief (Letitia). As a member of the Boston Conservatory Opera Studio, she performed the role of the Sandman in Humperdink’s Hansel und Gretel. She also participated in the Conservatory’s scene productions, singing Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), and Cosi Fan Tutte (Despina). In Carmichael, California, Renae sang the role of Mercedes in Capital Opera’s Presentation of Carmen. She has participated in several summer programs, including the prestigious American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and the Sherrill Milnes V.O.I.C.Experience program in Orlando, Florida.

In 2005, Renae was the MTNA Competition Massachusetts State winner. She was also a Junior Finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition in Palm Beach, Florida in 2004. Her principal voice teachers have been Justin Lavender, Hiroko Noda, Mark Schnaible, D’anna Fortunato, Michael Dean, Maria Spacagna, and Patricia Craig. She has also worked with Christopher Glynn, Natalie Murray, Philip Headlam, Philip Sunderland, Christopher Middelton, Jorge Parodi, Semyon Rozin, John Lidal, Jane Steel, Patricia Weinmann, and Michael Strauss. She has participated in Master classes with Roberto Perata, Patricia McCaffrey, Sherrill Milnes, Tony Randall, and Bruno Rigacci. Renae earned her Bachelor or Music from The New England Conservatory of Music in 2006.

After living in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Moscow over the past three years, Renae looks forward to establishing herself in London with her husband, a city native. She eagerly awaits her London concert debut at St. Dunstan-in-the-West, and a concert at Bristol Cathedral, both sponsored by the Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex.

Wai-Yin Lee

Wai-Yin Lee was born in Hong Kong, where she obtained her first Music Degree in Piano from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA). In 2000, she was awarded a two-year Full Scholarship from the Royal College of Music in London (RCM Hong Kong Scholar), supported by Rothshild Trust and Crocher Trust, to pursue her postgraduate studies with Professor Julian Jacobson from September 2000 to July 2002. After completing her Masters Degree in Piano Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD), she continued her studies as repetiteur with Professor Caroline Palmer on City Educational Scholarship. The following year, she was awarded a repetiteur fellowship at the GSMD for the period of two years and in the same year she was invited by National Opera Studio to join them as a part-time trainee.

She was the professional accompanist for the vocal department of GSMD and HKAPA, rehearsal pianist of the Opera Society of Hong Kong and senior pianist of the Hong Kong Children’s Choir. Since her arrival in the United Kingdom, Wai-Yin has established a dynamic and versatile musical activity. Apart from giving solo and chamber recitals at various venues across UK, she’s been working as musical director of the European Chamber Opera for the autumn tours since 2004, performing well-known operas (Rigoletto, Carmen, Madama Butterfly and Traviata) in South-east Asia, Japan and United Arab Emirates. In the summer of 2004-2006, she was selected as one of the repetiteurs for the British Youth Opera’s productions - Cunning Little Vixen, Eugene Onegin and Cosi Fan Tutte, in which she played the continuo part in Sadler’s Wells – Peacock Theatre. Other operatic experiences include Marriage of Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tosca, Il Trovatore, Beatrice and Benedict, Comedy n the Bridge, Don Pasquale, Mignon, Falstaff, Il tabarro, Gianni Schicchi, L’amore di Tre Rei, Koanga and The Little Green Swallow.

In the beginning of this year, she was invited by an international acclaimed conductor Maestro Emmanuel Siffert to coach and to work with the musicians of Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador. Later this year, she will be returning to Ecuador to work in Teatro Sucre as a musical coach for Merry Widow. Wai-Yin has also appeared on Hong Kong Radio 4 (Young Artist Programme) and BBC3 in tune with singers from GSMD and BYO. She’s also worked for Opera Holland Park, English Pocket Opera Company, English Opera Singers, English Music Platform, Pegasus Opera Company, Rhapsody Opera, Lyrique en Mer and National Opera Studio.

Venue: Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral (photo: Adrian Pingstone)

Bristol Cathedral is situated in the middle of the city at the bottom of Park Street. It was founded in 1140, but was built gradually over a period of 700 years. The Cathedral hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year. Many of these are open to the public, and some are free, including the regular lunchtime concerts on Tuesdays.

Visit the Bristol Cathedral website.


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