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Exploring Sondheim from a singer’s perspective

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Sondheim’s music is more than just Music Theatre and certainly has a unique style all of its own, therein lies the challenge. How does a classically trained singer approach and present this style with the authenticity required from the performer for the composer? In this presentation Morag will explore not just that singing this repertoire is of value but how it can feed other singing styles in its use of interpretation, ambiguity, acting skills, character study, dramatic context, humanity, humour, playfulness, with reference to his unique use of text, play on words and dramatic parlando.


As Sondheim himself said in Sunday in the Park with George:

“Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just the vision’s no solution,
Everything depends on execution,
Putting it together, that’s what counts.”


Morag has performed in a wide variety of opera, musicals, concerts and music theatre productions, including principal roles with Welsh National Opera (The Mother and Witch in Hansel and Gretel), Scottish Opera (Lucy in Threepenny Opera), The Royal National Theatre (Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music) and in the West End (Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera).

She toured internationally with Opera Circus (The Good Wife in Shameless: an Immoral Tale), presented on BBC Radio 3, released three solo CDs and featured on RNT cast recording and other

compilations. Morag presents her One Woman Shows worldwide and is currently a member of the opera improvisation group, Impropera, which has a residency at the London venue King’s Place.

Her qualifications include a B.Ed  from Lancaster University, operatic training at The Royal Northern College of Music and an MA (Dist) from the London College of Music.

Morag works as a vocal coach/consultant for emerging artists privately as well as leading performance workshops and master classes at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London College of Music, Ardingly International Music School, Guildford School of Acting and The Cooper Hall Emerging Artists Workshop.

The nature of her workshops, as facilitation process work, her breadth of professional performance experience, particularly in physical theatre and devising, and her focus on creativity, has more recently and inevitably led Morag to directing. She has so far directed The Turn of the Screw (2013), Hansel and Gretel (2014) and Così Fan Tutte (2015) for Frome Festival in collaboration with Bath Philharmonia, and Dido and Aeneas for London College of Music in March 2016.

Morag is Patron of Frome Festival, and Artistic Director of The Cooper Hall Foundation, where she co runs a small venue, programming a range of performance and educational events. Her Cooper Hall Emerging Artists Workshop provides welcome and valuable opportunities for young professional singers to discover, learn about and experience the process of role development and rehearsal. 

Her facilitation work as a director or workshop leader create meaningful, practical preparation for, and links with the profession. She explores the work in a nurturing as opposed to judgmental environment. She feels very strongly that this approach is key to assimilation of learning, tapping creative potential and personal development.

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