A backstage pass to the world of opera. Stage director and industry insider Nina Brazier interviews guests from all corners of the industry, exploring the influences and obstacles that shaped their journeys, and discovering how they each found a unique operatic voice.
Ed Gardner OBE – Conductor, Principal Conductor - London Philharmonic Orchestra & the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
From jumping in as a rehearsal pianist at the Salzburg Festival, through taking on ENO at the age of thirty-one, and onto the legacy of the LPO , Ed Gardner gives a refreshingly honest insight into his journey from a young chorister to the multi award-winning conductor that he is today. Nina chats to Ed about nurturing and sustaining his musical - and managerial - relationships, his approach to collaboration, and why cross words in a rehearsal room isn’t always a bad thing
Find out more about the London Philharmonic Orchestra and their upcoming season here and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra here.
Lou Platt – Psychotherapist & Artist Wellbeing Practitioner
How can we find balance when our schedules can be so punishing? How can we find meaning in our work in a world that celebrates immediate success? And how can we tackle that unrelenting desire for perfectionism? Returning guest Lou Platt explores these questions and more, and gives ideas and insight into what we can do to better take care of our mental health and wellbeing.
You can find Lou on her website or at Artist Wellbeing, on Twitter here, & on Instagram here.
Nadine Benjamin MBE – Lyric Soprano, Mentor, Mind Coach, Certified High Performance & Founder of Everybody Can!
What happens when the career you have is not the one that you really want? Do you stay and climb the ladder, or do you take a risk and step into your story? Nadine Benjamin found herself thriving in the world of Finance, but always remembered her teacher Mrs. Lake who introduced her to the Queen of the Night’s music at school, telling her that she too could sing like that one day. Taking three months out to try to make singing into her career, Nadine’s talent alongside her bravery and tenacity took her from constantly asking for auditions, to writing up her business plan and asking people to support her, on to finding her own unique path to training her voice. Needless to say, she didn’t look back. Now, alongside her thriving career - from ENO to the Royal Opera House & Glyndebourne and beyond - she works as a mentor, Mind Coach, certified High Performance Coach, & founder of her own mentorship programme Everybody Can! where she coaches and champions others to step into their own stories.
If you need to reach out for help – The Samaritans can be found here https://www.samaritans.org/ and called on 116 123 for free (UK).
You can find Nadine on Twitter & on Instagram, via her website and through Everybody Can!.
Kathleen Alder, Founding Director - WildKat PR
Hailing from the German equivalent of the Von Trapp family with plans to be a solo violinist, Kathleen’s career took an unexpected pivot when she was unceremoniously sacked from her first job and bumped into Richard Branson in the veg aisle in Marks and Spencers. Gathering her thoughts alongside her graphic designer boyfriend Alan Long, she launched WildKat PR, a creative PR agency for classical music, something that Kat felt needed a serious change of image. From being less awkward on social media, to finding out whether we really have to be ‘across all platforms’, onto resilience and recovery in the face of failure, we explore the highs and lows of Kat’s journey, and discover tips on how to survive and thrive in the performing arts world.
Find out more about Kat here and more about WildKat PR here
Follow Kat on Twitter here and Instagram here, and read more about her latest venture PostKultur here.
Tracy Cox – Singer, Artist, Activist
Have you ever been judged on your appearance? Or been on the receiving end of well-intentioned advice that - in fact - turned out to be not that helpful? Nina chats to the Soprano and Fat Politics Activist Tracy Cox on judgement, setting boundaries and living freely as an artist. From early expectations, through learning to filter criticism, to her approach to high-pressure moments such as competitions, Tracy’s extraordinary journey is a lesson for us all in how to survive and thrive in the opera world. Find Tracy online on her website here on Instagram here and Twitter here, or through her agent here
Kate Valentine – Soprano, Voice Care Specialist & Founder of Valentine Voice Care
For over a decade, Kate was a busy lead Soprano singing across UK opera houses and around the world. However, some worrying panic attacks and serious vocal health issues came to the surface and required swift surgery. During her own long rehabilitation process, she discovered a newfound fascination with vocal health, and wanted to ensure that other people didn’t have to go through a similar experience alone. She has dedicated herself to removing the mystery and stigma surrounding vocal health, wellbeing and injury, and actively encourages singers to be open and reach out for help when they’re suffering. Kate chats about listening to your body, knowing and setting your boundaries and the desperate need for kindness in the opera world.
You can find Kate at the Valentine Voice Care Clinics in Lewes & Glasgow, through the Voice Care Centre in London and Clyde Consulting Rooms in Glasgow, and on Instagram.
Nina Brazier’s candid conversation with Nicky Spence gives you hope that anybody can have a dream & work towards it. Totally uplifting!
It’s a fantastic podcast!
I love this podcast!
Nina asks the right questions and gives her guests the space to talk.