From singers in 2021
"Seeing an opera made by young musicians taking life from scratch and spending three days in the countryside bonding with great colleagues is a formative experience which I would recommend to other young musicians at the early stage of their careers. This year I worked as an orchestral manager for the first time in a production with Scherzo and it has been a really positive experience in which I have learnt how to solve problems in a calm and positive way and has given me much more confidence to take into future opportunities."
"I was glad to take part in this Scherzo production of Il Turco in Italia because the entire production and people involved were all talented, positive, and professional. I really enjoyed the fact that all members of staff, cast and orchestra were all made up by young people, because it allowed us to bond closely with everyone and this obviously brings a much different atmosphere both on and off stage. Having moved to the UK only very recently - and during the pandemic - it was very helpful to start creating a network."
"Being able to collaborate with a higher class of professional musician has been insightful and inspiring. Prior to working with Scherzo, I did not know how much I loved performing opera. I now know that I never wish to stop. The project improved many skills: adaptability, acting, movement on stage, cooperation. Being my first production out of lockdown, it was a saving grace for both my aspirations and mental health. I know other chorus members felt similarly. Scherzo has given me opportunities to perform with quality orchestras which has developed my musicianship. I am now working with Duchy Opera in Cornwall. Scherzo productions have given me the most fulfilling experiences of my life, truly. I hope Scherzo continues for a long time to come."
"I hadn’t sung the St Matthew Passion before and had to learn it from scratch. I am very happy to have been introduced to this genius piece in a project of such a high standard, where chorus, orchestra and soloists were of outstanding commitment and quality. It all blended perfectly together, which of course had a great impact on how I could develop as an interpreter of Bach’s music. The fact that we were able to perform it several times made me understand the piece a lot better and explore the challenge of new settings. I learnt a lot, met a bunch of utterly talented and great people, and had great experiences during the performances. It has also let to further work."
Before 2020’s restructuring:
"I was a regular singer with Scherzo from 2015 - 2019. During that time, Scherzo’s projects have been an important factor in my artistic and professional development. With Scherzo I have been able to take part in diverse performances which were not available to me elsewhere. I have been introduced to rarely-performed music, including choral songs by Brahms, Massenet and Debussy (better known for their instrumental and solo vocal music) and uncommon early repertoire like Buxtehude’s Das Neugeborne Kinderlein and Praetorius’s Puer Natus est in Bethlehem. This has widened my knowledge of choral repertoire and inspired me to investigate repertoire by more obscure composers; as a result I have become more confident at musical research and in programming. This development in my research and programming skills was further supported by the opportunity to perform my own solo repertoire (and hear other singers’ solo repertoire) as part of certain Scherzo recitals. I was already a confident choral singer when I began performing with Scherzo. However, Scherzo’s varying ensemble structure helped me to gain confidence and flexibility when creating music with all sorts of unlikely ensembles. Through Scherzo’s projects I also improved as a musical leader and became more self-assured in my interpretation of ensemble music. With Scherzo I have performed solo and chorus roles in more well-known works, such as Bach’s St John Passion in 2016. These major projects, performed with orchestral musicians, have been an invaluable opportunity to develop my familiarity and experience with repertoire which is essential to professional classical singers. Finally, through Scherzo’s projects I have been introduced to a range of other musicians with various professional interests and levels of experience. With them I have developed my professional network and artistic sensibility."
"I am a baritone currently enrolled on the Royal Academy of Music’s Opera Programme and have been involved with Scherzo for some years. This group has had a huge impact upon my development as an artist in that time, primarily because it has enabled me to perform large scale works as a soloist (e.g. Haydn’s Creation) with full orchestra, giving me invaluable experience which very few students would receive during their time at conservatoire. Having been able to perform with Scherzo in over 10 concerts, these opportunities have built my confidence as a performer which I have carried with me into my professional life. The other main way in which Scherzo has augmented my development as a professional musician is through the network it has created. All of the performers, be it in the chorus, orchestra, or soloist, are active and dynamic young musicians, with most studying at or recent graduating from conservatoires. For me this has meant a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and to become involved with other musicians, curating concerts and music making outside of Scherzo. As a young professional, garnering a strong network is crucial, and Scherzo has been a significant part of my success."