2006 Awardee: Elysia Leech

I am so lucky to have the internal instrument I have and thank God every day for it!

Biography

When she was at school, Elysia was only ever aware of pop music until one day she heard someone sing opera. She was inspired, and at the age of 16 decided to take up classical singing. Since then, her passion for opera and for becoming a major operatic performer has not wavered.

Born and brought up in Scotland, Elysia has been studying singing at Glasgow’s RSAMD.  After graduation, she intends to proceed to the postgraduate course in performance.

Her tutor considers her to be a singer of major potential who combines a mezzo-soprano voice of rare quality with an innate musicality and sense of drama.

Elysia’s ambition is to become a world class singer and perform in all the major opera houses around the world. Given the right opportunities and vocal education, all the indications are that this is a realistic ambition well within her capabilities and talent.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help finance Elysia as she continues to study opera performance at the highest level at RSAMD.

Since the Award

Unexpectedly during the course, Elysia’s voice type changed from low mezzo to high mezzo/soprano. She studied with renowned opera singer, Jane Irwin.  In 2008 Elysia won the RSAMD’s prestigious Governors’ prize and throughout August 2009, she was guest soloist for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Elysia continues her studies as she gets to grips with new repertoire to suit her new voice type.

I am so lucky to have the internal instrument I have and thank God every day for it!

2006 Awardee: Karen Cargill

The Dewar Arts Awards are a wonderful source of support for young Scottish artists, enabling them to continue their development. I'm incredibly grateful to the Dewar Awards for their help in my preparation for this next step in my career.

Biography

Born and brought up in Arbroath, Karen trained at the RSAMD, Glasgow, Toronto and the National Opera Studio, London.

A joint winner in 2002 of the Kathleen Ferrier Award – possibly the most prestigious vocal award in the UK – Karen has become established as a top British mezzo-soprano and is one of the most distinguished young Scottish artists of recent years. Her voice is described as one of “extraordinary beauty and power”.

At the start of her professional career, Karen has already performed at top national and international venues with some of the leading orchestras in the UK and Europe, including the 2005 Last Night of the Proms as the soloist in The Rio Grande.

She is a much sought-after recital artist and soloist in Romantic orchestral works, where she is prized for her special combination of power and sensitivity. Karen is heard regularly on BBC Radio 3.

Karen enjoys a close relationship with Scottish Opera where she performed the leading role of Rosina in their 2007 production of the Barber of Seville.  For more information see www.karencargill.co.uk and www.maxinerobertson.com, her agent.

How the Award Helped

Karen performed the leading role of Rosina in the Scottish Opera’s 2007 production of the Barber of Seville. It is recognised that Rossini operas require specialist preparation in both vocal and language coaching.

The Dewar Arts Award helped finance Karen’s coaching with teachers of international reputation.

The Dewar Arts Awards are a wonderful source of support for young Scottish artists, enabling them to continue their development. I'm incredibly grateful to the Dewar Awards for their help in my preparation for this next step in my career.

2006 Awardee: Madeleine Shaw

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Dewar Arts Awards for their generous financial support of my professional development in music and opera.

Biography

After three years on a post-graduate programme at the RSAMD, Glasgow, Madeleine gained a place at the prestigious National Opera Studio in London in the face of extremely stiff competition. Madeleine is considered to be one of the most gifted mezzo sopranos of her generation.

She writes of her time at the studio, “It is a dream to be able to work with the coaches, directors and singers that the studio attracts.  I loved every second of my time there.”

Without her training at the Opera Studio, Madeleine says that she would never have had the opportunity of auditioning and going on to work for one of the UK’s leading opera companies.  She writes, “This is the perfect start to my professional singing career that will hopefully go on for many years to come.”

Madeleine is currently a member of the Young Singers Programme at the English National Opera.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards helped to fund Madeleine’s studies at the National Opera Studio, London, before launching her operatic career.

Since the Award

Madeleine moved on to become a member of the Young Singers Programme at the English National Opera.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Dewar Arts Awards for their generous financial support of my professional development in music and opera.

2005 Awardee: Carla Caramujo

It is with enormous gratitude and honour that I accept the Award

Biography

The Dewar Arts Awards are not just for exceptionally talented young Scots. They can also support exceptionally talented young artists from all over the world, who are currently living and working in Scotland.

Carla Caramujo is one of two Portuguese opera students to receive an Award while she studied at the RSAMD, Glasgow. Carla came to Glasgow after studying with Laura Sarti at the Guildhall School in London. She is ‘an exciting young lyric coloratura soprano with a voice of outstanding quality’ and possesses a voice with instinctive musicianship, impressive range and great potential.

Already a winner of a number of competitions, including first prize in the Musikförderpreis for voice and piano at the Hans-Sachs-Loge in Nuremberg, Germany (with Maki Yoneta on piano), Carla is a vibrant and focused performer with great dramatic potential.

How the Award Helped

Carla received a Dewar Arts Award to assist her in her operatic studies at the RSAMD, Glasgow

Since the Award

Carla gained a Master of Opera degree with Distinction from the RSAMD. Since graduation, Carla has worked in the UK, Portugal and Mexico. She sang the role of Madame Herz in Mozart’s The Impresario in the Teatro das Figuras, Faro. She was invited to audition for La Scala, Milan.

It is with enormous gratitude and honour that I accept the Award