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Owen Alexander is a Sydney-based singer-songwriter, who works in the furniture industry by day. He started singing lessons with Kathleen Connell in 2016 and set a goal to perform with a local opera group. Here’s how Owen went about making it happen.

Owen Alexander achieves opera performance goal

Owen Alexander performing in ‘The Bartered Bride’, 2016. Image credit: Ray Wing-Lun

When it comes to setting singing goals, why is a performance goal important to you?

I’m not very good at sticking to a routine unless I can find a motivating factor.  I love singing for people but don’t want to appear underprepared, so setting performance goals really help me in this way.

How did you decide on your performance goal?

Opera is challenging for me and I love a good challenge.  Kathleen Connell recognised the importance of challenging me in my lessons and in my performances, so in consultation we decided a local opera company was a terrific way to ‘get back out there’ and perform a style that would push me.

What was involved in making your dream a reality?

I did an online search for upcoming productions and found Rockdale Opera Company.  It was as simple as emailing for an audition time and then working on the required audition material with Kathleen so I felt as prepared as possible.

Being in the Men’s chorus was a really valuable experience.  The time commitment wasn’t huge, but it was consistent, so I noticed a great improvement during this time.  I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the production – I met some super people too.

How did you stay on track?

We had two-plus rehearsals per week in the months leading up to opening night.  Each rehearsal was very structured and we knew what was expected of us at each progressive rehearsal.  Staying on track wasn’t a problem because I knew I didn’t want to turn up not knowing the section of music we were going to be working on. Who would want to let down the team?

Do you also have singing technique goals?

There’s so much I want to work on with my voice.  Extending my upper range and strengthening my lower, reducing nasality, tension, breath control …my list is endless.  If I had to choose one thing for the next 12 months it would probably be breath control – so that I can achieve better stability in pitch and fluidity in delivery.

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