Ella Taylor: Freelance work during a pandemic

musician on stage
Ella Taylor
BMUS Music
Freelance classical soprano
We spoke to Ella Taylor, one of our BMus alumni, who talks to us about being a freelance musician through the pandemic.

Ella Taylor - BMus Music 

Freelance Classical Soprano

Currently I’m attempting to find work as a freelance classical soprano in a pandemic, in an industry that desperately needs to diversify, but it’s not all bad, I promise! Most recently I received the second prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

For those who don’t know – it’s a singing competition held yearly in the UK attracting a lot of the world’s best young talent. I’d also been dreaming of winning something there since my godmother, soprano Elizabeth Watts, won the first prize in 2006. In a year of constant disappointment and crushing lows, to end with something like this really was a dream come true.

The past academic year (2019 – 2020) I spent as a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio. With them I’ve worked with Opera North and Welsh National Opera, and I was due to work with Scottish Opera and English National Opera. Instead, I was introduced to the concept of online coaching, and joined Freelancers Make Theatre Work to advocate for the 71% of people in our industry who are freelance. I’ve since taken a singing teaching job at a local Sheffield school (despite living in London) and have done a couple of online concerts.

I adored my time at Sheffield – I made friends for life.

Ella Taylor 

I graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2016 with my BMus. I adored my time at Sheffield – I made friends for life, enjoyed many nights out, and even managed to get a bit of work done! I have a couple of memorable moments in particular. During my first term in my first year, I had been cast to play Miles in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. I was shy and quite awkward with the people in my year. Thank goodness my year were kind and up for a laugh.

However, the best memory of all has to go to every Christmas Cabaret we ever held in the department. The memories of the performances, pizza in BB’s and nights finished in Leadmill will be something I never forget (or maybe I’m still trying to piece together..).

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