Hear our musicians: Elizabeth Adams, soprano

The recent launch of our streamed concerts On Demand has not only brought enjoyment to our audiences, but valuable work for our fabulous freelance musicians.

A full year after concert-giving came to a shuddering halt, we’ve been asking some of them what life has been like.

Whilst the loss of live music has been a hard blow professionally, financially and emotionally, like Armonico Consort itself our creative, fleet-footed, musicians have found ways to play, teach, give concerts and learn new skills.

While we wait to emerge anew to sing and play for live audiences again, please do support our musicians and check out our online streamed concerts, featuring some of our favourite early music repertoire, from Byrd to Bach.

In the first of our Q&As, we talk to soprano Elizabeth Adams  

Soprano Elizabeth Adams

Have you had much, if any, professional paid work since the start of the pandemic?

I feel I have been quite lucky really. I sing regularly with a few different choirs, and some of them gave me quite a bit of online work, recording virtual choir videos. I’ve also done a bit of film session recording, and I’ve been very fortunate to have been booked for various concerts when lockdown was eased. That’s not to say I haven’t lost an immense amount of work, and of course all my solo work has just disappeared. Amateur choirs and choral societies aren’t allowed to perform together right now, which is a blow for the professional singers and orchestral musicians who rely on that work alongside all their other engagements.

We’re not giving up on the Arts; we’re in this together. Music brings joy to so many people, in a way that nothing else can, and it’s important for us to continue to give that to our audiences.

How has it impacted the way you practise?

At the beginning of the pandemic, I thought to myself – ‘OK, this’ll be fine. I’ve got time to learn lots of new repertoire’. However, the reality is that practising with nothing to work towards becomes very depressing. Recently I have started a much more regular regime of practice, but it’s more to do with the fact that I had Covid over Christmas and I’m slowly building my stamina back up!

Two singers, violinist and keyboard player
Elizabeth Adams (centre) and Armonico colleagues perform for residents at Woodside Care Village, Warwick

How have you felt about singing during this time?

I’m definitely getting sick of recording videos on my own, with no colleagues to blend with/help me with my breathing! It’s hard because most people who are in this industry do it because they absolutely love their craft. So when lockdown eased and we were allowed to sing together again, there was an amazing feeling of elation, but the longer things go on, more lockdowns come in, and you just start to feel completely dejected.

Have you been busy doing other things?

I would say that this pandemic has made me really reassess my priorities. My career was the most important thing to me before all this, and I was always pushing for the next thing. I was constantly auditioning and sending my CV off to various conductors and choirs. That’s a vital quality to have in this industry, but I’m starting to appreciate the smaller things. I am happy and healthy, I love my family and friends and I have lots of hobbies – I’m an avid gamer (mostly Japanese RPGS), I love to cook and bake, and I love getting lost in a good book).

singers wearing face masks perform Purcell's Dido & Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas is one of the performances Armonico Consort has filmed during the past year

What you have enjoyed about being involved in these filmed concerts? Were there any particular challenges?

It’s been very tiring for all of us, so that was a challenge. We’re just not used to intense rehearsing and performing any more. I’ve enjoyed seeing my friends again! It’s really satisfying to see everyone trying to just push on. We’re not giving up on the Arts; we’re in this together. Music brings joy to so many people, in a way that nothing else can, and it’s important for us to continue to give that to our audiences.

For details of all Armonico Consort’s streamed concerts visit www.armonico.org.uk/ondemand