the felicity smith memorial prize
Felicity Smith joined Co-Opera Co. in the Summer of 2013 and on 7th September 2013 she sang Katisha at the Hackney Empire in a cover showing for Co-Opera Co. Three days later, on Tuesday 10th September Felicity died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.
We hope that this prize in Felicity's name will not only help other mezzo sopranos to fulfil their potential but, most importantly, be a fitting memorial to a superb singer who was taken from the world far too soon.
The prize is to be awarded annually to one or more mezzo sopranos who have shown most promise during one of our development programmes.
A shortlist of prospective recipients will be asked to submit a proposal as to how the award will best help them further their career. They will all be invited to discuss their proposals with a board of Co-Opera Co. Associate Artists who will decide to whom the prize will be awarded.
Funds for the prize are raised through private donation and fund-raising concerts.
The fund launched on Friday 27th June 2014 with a concert celebrating the life and career of Felicity Smith at St. James's Piccadilly. The programme included the MOZART REQUIEM and featured soloists YVONNE HOWARD, ALICE COOTE, JOHN GRAHAM-HALL, MARTIN NELSON and the Co-Opera Co. Orchestra and Choir Conducted by JOHN ANDREWS.
9th October 1979 - 10th September 2013
Felicity gained a Master of Performance with distinction from the Royal College of Music, where she studied under Tim Evans Jones, and was supported by the RCM Majorie Tonks Award, The Henry Wood Trust, and the Josephine Baker Trust. She graduated in French and music (voice and composition) from Victoria University of Wellington, and gained a Master of Music in musicology from the New Zealand School of Music, specialising in the French baroque.
Felicity's operatic roles included Second Witch (Dido and Aeneas) for Britten Pears Young Artists, Shepherdess (Orfeo) for Hampstead Garden Opera (The Magic Flute) and Sandman (Hansel and Gretel) for London Youth Opera, and two roles in new operas for the RCM Great Expectations project. She sang in masterclasses with Sarah Walker, Dame Felicity Palmer, and Roger Vignoles, and was the alto soloist for a series of Bach Cantata concerts directed by Helmut Rilling for Musikfest Stuttgart. A keen exponent of new and modern repertoires, Felicity premièred three major works by emerging composers at the RCM, and performed works by Cage and Reich with the RCM New Perspectives Ensemble. In 2011 she sang Berio´s Folk Songs for the Philharmonia Orchestra´s Bartok Festival. Felicity won the 2011 Croydon Music Festival Concerto Competition singing Britten's Phaedra, and was placed third in the 2012 Brooks-Van der Pump English Song Competition.
In 2013/14 she was to have toured Berlin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and to perform at the Musica en Segura festival in Spain and she was planning to take her husband, clarinettist Dani Broncano, to New Zealand for the first time.