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Lizzie Marshall
Studying for a Masters in Opera Singing at the Bayerische Theaterakademie in Munich

  • BA in Music, 2010

How did you find your way into your current position?

I loved singing Early and Contemporary music while I was at York, and my intuitive approach to vocal technique and expression was really important to me. By the time I graduated my voice was changing shape and as much as I loved York, I felt I needed a change of scene. I moved back home to London, waitressed and worked in retail while studying singing privately, taking language courses, learning operatic roles and performing them with small companies. I'd always heard that Germany was a good place for a young opera singer, and I was interested in travelling. I kept an eye on Masters programmes in opera-singing, eventually applying to the one in Munich, and I started there in September 2015.

What are your strongest memories of your time at York?

Sitting in the Jack Lyons Concert Hall as an audience member at live concerts once or twice a week. It was an environment where I felt stimulated and yet able to think and reflect, drift into new trains of thought... For me it was a place of intellectual freedom where I could gain new energy for my busy week of writing, rehearsing, performing. And it was all free!

How did York prepare you for your career?

At York, without realising it, I was allowed to confidently interpret music in a way that allowed me to channel something of my authentic response to the source itself, for example a notated piece of music. I learnt to create, to express, to write academic essays and make a radio program and direct an operetta, while maintaining something of that sense of self-expression. And I try to remember that when things get serious!

What advice would you have for current students?

To ask your lecturers lots of questions all the time. They're really interesting and open-minded, but I was often worried about looking ignorant, and this (only sometimes!) stopped me from putting forward the "stupid" questions which had the potential of connecting me better with what they were talking about.

Any other comments?

Only to myself, that I must come back and visit soon!