Originally from England, Merritt has been involved in choral community right here in Nova Scotia, and has loved every minute of it! This year, she joins HSOF as a soprano playing two roles: Second Spirit in The Magic Flute and Chorus in The Tales of Hoffmann. Find out more about Rhian’s operas here:
The 2019 festival
This year, HSOF welcomes over 50 performers from around the world, including many from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes, all of whom underwent competitive auditions. We are excited to introduce Rhian Merritt as a performer this summer!
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Q: When did you start studying voice? Where are you studying now?
A: “I first started studying in grade 7, but then stopped to pursue different things. I came back to lessons the year before I auditioned at university and am about to enter my final year of my Bachelor of Music degree at Acadia University. I am currently focusing in Vocal Performance under the direction of Dr. Christianne Rushton.“
Q: What is the best part about starting a new opera?
A: “Everything! I love being able to dive into the story and the characters and trying to find what makes the most sense for me. I enjoy trying to find how to show a bit of me through my character instead of totally mimicking what I think the character should be like. I also love to learn the music and meet all the fantastic people who are in the cast with me!“
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration in the opera world?
A: “I am a BIG fan of Lucas Meachem. I love the emotion that he puts into every note and every piece of text. However, I most appreciate how he is so open about his singing and how he works. He often gives tips and voice lessons online and cares a lot about responding to questions and communicating with younger singers.”
Q: Are there any unusual skills you’ve acquired that have proved helpful for you while performing opera?
A: “I used to practice karate through junior high and high school and so that helps me a lot with movement and being aware of my body! It definitely helps me pick up choreography quickly! Maybe it will help me with stage combat too?!”