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Behind the Musical Advent Calendar: Rosalind O'Dowd, Opera Singer

Soprano mother breastfeeding daughter
Prepping to sing the soprano solo in Elijah, with help.

Rosalind O’Dowd is a freelance opera singer and music teacher from London, but during the first lockdown this year, she and her family decided to relocate to her mother’s house in the countryside: "I had to say goodbye to my performing gigs, and learn how to navigate my way through Zoom teaching: that was a baptism of fire!" 

Rosalind began her early career with 10 years in marketing, before changing tack to follow her passion, and gaining an MMus in Vocal Performance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Since graduating, Rosalind has had a varied career in fringe opera, solo recitals, as an oratorio soloist, community work and teaching.

For the Advent Calendar, Rosalind is singing in one of the virtual ensembles we created: "It was exhilarating to have an excuse to get my gladrags on and perform - even if it was only to my iPhone!"

Musician Mums Quick Christmas Quiz:

What will you miss most about performing music this Christmas?

I’ll miss meeting with my lovely colleagues if I can’t sing this Christmas. I often sing with the same choral society as well, and have got to know the members over the years. It will be a shame not to see them this year. As well as the singing, what about the clothes!? When will I next get to wear my sparkly dresses and Christmas Tree earrings?!

Tell us your favourite carol/Christmas song?

I love the darker sounding Christmas music as a contrast to all the (sometimes) enforced merriment. If I had to choose one, it would be the Coventry Carol.

And what are you hoping for this year for Christmas?

Like many, I’ve been getting into exercise during the Lockdowns. With the gyms closed, I’m running outside more, and I’d love a fancy Smart Watch to tell me what I’m doing!

What's your favourite Christmas memory ?

I’ve always loved singing at Christmas, and one of my favourite Christmas musical memories is singing in the local village church at the midnight service on Christmas Eve. It was so atmospheric in the candlelight. We would then go home and chomp through a midnight feast of cheese and port!

Tell us your favourite thing about Christmas ?

The opportunity to be creative! I love all the music-making opportunities as well as getting crafty! I did a fantastic wreath-making workshop last year, and baked hundreds of gingerbread men to give away as gifts. I hope to get my sewing machine out this year. I know I have some Christmassy fabric squirrelled away somewhere.....

Thanks so much Rosalind!

Find out more about Rosalind on her website:


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