A few weeks ago I was given an opportunity of a lifetime, an offer I never thought would be available to me – to sing opera in Europe with the English and Dutch National Operas. I’m extremely excited for this opportunity and looking forward to a making a dream come true , not only live in Europe but to sing there as well for nearly half a year!
Although I will be paid by both companies, there are expenses in relocating for 5 months overseas, in two different countries, while maintaining expenses at home which I will not be able to fully cover with my salary.
I’m really not one for asking for help, especially financial help. However I never thought I’d have two European opera companies invite me to sing with them so this is an opportunity I cannot let pass me by. I have no idea what this could lead to or if I’ll ever get this chance again. No matter what, I feel I have to go for it and I hope I can enlist your help to make this fabulous adventure more viable.
A bit about me- I started pursuing opera later than others, nearly 10 years later. I studied classical voice at Scripps College, part of the Claremont Colleges, as a soprano, but it wasn’t until I came back from teaching English in Japan and started working in “the real world’ that I seriously started to pursue opera.
In order to take advantage of the lower part of my nearly 4 octave range, my voice teacher had me switch to a mezzo- soprano. I started cramming operas and roles to catch up with my contemporaries. I traveled around the country auditioning for young artist programs and opera competitions, while I sang in local recitals and auditioned for area opera companies. My hard work paid off and I landed roles and leads, the first being Calliope in the operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld” with the New Savoy Opera, and singing Carmen for the Met’s NW Winter Gala. Then I was accepted into the Houston Ebony Opera Young Artist program, where I got to sing the role of Giovanna in “Rigoletto” opposite my first professional opera singer. From there, back at home, I reprised my role in “Rigoletto”, landed the roles of Pitti-Sing/Suzuki in an amalgamation of “The Mikado” and “Madame Butterfly” and Katisha in “The Mikado” before I reached the highlight of singing with the Seattle Opera where I had a solo bit in “Porgy and Bess” and sang in the chorus of “Turandot” 6-7 years ago.
But finally the demands of “the real world” required me to put my operatic dreams on hold.
Last year, almost by fluke, a friend posted on Facebook about auditions for Seattle Opera’s “Porgy and Bess.” If I hadn’t caught that post on my Facebook feed, I would have missed the auditions. If I had missed the auditions, I wouldn’t be in the chorus with a solo bit. If I wasn’t in the chorus, the chorus master wouldn’t have passed along my contact information to the English National Opera for their joint production of “Porgy and Bess” with the Dutch National Opera!
Talk about the “Butterfly Effect!”
Things have been moving very quickly since that offer came in, like a rollercoaster really, with several ups and downs. I was added to the productions very late. Where other cast members having the entire summer to prepare, I leave at the end of August with just a few weeks notice. And with that shortened schedule it has been very expensive to get all my documents and property in order. However, with your help, for which I am truly thankful, I can make this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity a reality.
Thank you for your consideration to help make this dream of mine possible. Your generous donation is very much appreciated!Updates to come...
See what I’ve been up to at bit.ly/ClaudetteHatcher
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