Winner of the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon was born in Johannesburg and recently completed her studies at the RCM International Opera School. She received many awards including the Maggie Teyte Prize and Miriam Licette Scholarship administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Overseas Trophy and the Lorna Viol and Audrey Strange Prizes in the 2008 Royal Over-Seas League Competition. She is represented by Askonas Holt and made her professional debut in the 2010/11 season at the English National Opera.
“In my first week I attended a masterclass with the famous mezzo soprano, Sarah Walker. I was petrified! But she gave me a huge amount of confidence. In fact, all my teachers have been an inspiration, that’s why the RCM turns out such polished performers.
As a member of the RCM International Opera School I had excellent performance opportunities both in fully staged operas and in opera scenes. The high standard of the RCMIOS productions provided me with a platform for exposure to a wider audience including agents and casting directors from all the major companies. Through the RCM I had the pleasure of performing with the London Handel Festival, King’s College Choir, the Academy of Ancient Music and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
London is a fantastic city buzzing with opportunity for both work and play. You could not want for more cultural diversity in the cosmopolitanism of this great city and with access to some of the best orchestras, opera companies and concert venues in the world your education is complete. The RCM provided me the opportunity to make contacts with major figures in the profession and I have formed lasting friendships with these amazing people as well as with my colleagues. The area around the RCM is so beautiful, it’s right by Hyde Park, you would have to work hard not to be inspired here! I consider London my “home” away from home!”