Charming beginnings: Fleuranne Brokeway

Since winning First Prize in the highly coveted German Australian Opera Grant in 2019, Brockway relocated to Wiesbaden, Germany in 2020 to take up her position in the ensemble of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, which she now calls her home theatre. Since arriving in Wiesbaden, Brockway maintained an impressive performance schedule in such roles as Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Wellgunde and Rossweiße (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Third Maid (Elektra), Mercédès (Carmen), Sonyetka (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Annina (Der Rosenkavalier), and critically acclaimed performances of Charlotte (Werther). In 2022, Brockway also made her debut at Oper Frankfurt as La Ciesca in Il Trittico by Giacomo Puccini. Audiences can look forward to hearing Brockway as Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Maddalena (Rigoletto), Sharon (Oryx and Crake) and the title role of Carmen (Carmen) in the upcoming season. From 2019 to 2020, Brockway was a member of the prestigious Royal College of Music (RCM) International Opera Studio in London, England where she completed her Artist Diploma in Opera. For the duration of her studies, Brockway was in the voice studio of acclaimed Scottish soprano, Janis Kelly. Brockway graduated with her Bachelor of Music (Classical Vocal Performance) from the University of Western Australia where she studied under Megan Sutton. Following her bachelor’s degree, Brockway joined the private voice studio of internationally renowned dramatic baritone and voice teacher, Gregory Yurisich AM. Later, Brockway was selected as a Melba Scholar with the Melba Opera Trust, which provided her with invaluable professional development and performance opportunities. Brockway is grateful to have received the Annie McFarling & Ruskin Scholarship as part of that program. Brockway also participated in the Lisa Gasteen Opera School from 2014 to 2016.

Dear Fleuranne, first of all it was so nice to meet you in Portofino and follow your steps towards the first prize of Concorso Lirico Internazionale Portofino! How was like this experience from your perspective? What’s the most important thing that this experience taught you?

I cannot sing Francesco Daniel Donati’s praises enough for creating such a wonderful competition in Portofino. Everything was so impeccably well run and carefully planned out to make it such a rewarding experience for all singers who took part. Not only is it in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, the organisers and panel took time to get to know the singers. It felt like they just wanted us all to do our best and were there to support us all. I met some wonderful people through this competition and I was so inspired by being around so much incredible talent. The most important thing this competition taught me is that resilience and perseverance are almost just as important as how you sing. You just have to keep working hard, honouring your talent and believing in yourself. I entered this competition in 2021 and made it to the semi-final. It was one of my first international competitions and I was so inspired by the experience I told myself, next year I’m going to be singing in the final. I even took a photo of myself by the stage, printed it out and kept it on my stand in my practice room at home as a reminder. I used that determination to work really hard on my arias and technique that year and came back excited to try again. And crazy enough, my dream came true!

Considering that you already have a certain experience in the field, what’s the ideal way of preparing and choosing the repertoire for such contests?

I am still learning this for myself, and to be honest I think that answer definitely depends on who the panel is and what you think they are looking for. For me, I now think of competitions as another chance to audition, therefore I choose things that show off what I can do now and what I personally love to sing. You have to show the breadth of what you can do and what you shine in right now. You also need to pick arias that give you the time to showcase your range to the audience/panel. Also, a huge time saver, look up all the competitions you want to enter and check all the compulsory aria requirements. Try to prepare arias from your fach that can be used for as many of these competitions as possible (there is typically a lot of overlap). Helps to avoid having to learn extra arias last minute, especially when they are typically to be sung for the most important rounds. Regarding preparation, I recommend trying to regularly record yourself performing the art of auditioning. You just need a room, pianist, tripod and your mobile phone. Not only can you then rewatch the video and use it to help you improve, but the pressure of the camera helps to recreate some performance pressure you might experience in an audition, which is great practice for competitions!

Read the entire interview here, in the 6th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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