Gemma was a finalist in the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018.
Born in Crewe, her recent and forthcoming engagements include Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Opera National du Rhin), Pamina Zauberflöte (Scottish Opera), Paula Jordan in William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight (Wexford Festival Opera), cover Michal Saul (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and role débuts as Governess Turn of the Screw (Opera National de Lorraine), Lauretta and Suor Genovieva Il trittico (Scottish Opera).
Awards include First Prize at Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino 2019, winner 2018 Susan Chilcott Award, First Prize and Song Prize 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
Wasfi asked Gemma how she conquers nerves – for example when she was competing in the Glyndebourne Cup 2018. Gemma repled that she “has learnt to make them a friend; shape them into a tool for keenness; make them fight over flight. They keep me on my toes: they mean that no one performance is ever the same as the next.
Competitions are not the ‘be all and end all’ – they’re opportunities. The Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Wigmore Hall Song Competition meant singing in the acoustically generous Wigmore Hall,
There’s a distinct difference between competitions and auditions as well.
College exams look to assess what you can’t do (in order to award a grade and provide feedback for subsequent learning). In competitions and auditions a panel looks to assess what you CAN do.
Gemma, a keen reader, went on to talk about two recent books she has read.
“Madeline Miller’s (italics) The Song of Achilles is a brilliant recreation of Classics for the modern era. I studied Classics at school and love a good tale of Gods and Men. Frederik Backman’s (italics) A Man Called Ove is honest, heartfelt, profoundly human and I defy anyone to fail to find within it someone they have in their life. If you don’t see them, you are them”.