Soprano Harriet Kirk plays the role of Siebel in Bath Opera’s forthcoming performance of Faust. We find out more about Harriet and the role she will be playing.
Tell us a bit yourself and your training as an opera singer…
“I started my singing career singing with Berkshire Youth Choir whilst at school. I realised I loved singing and knew I wanted to pursue it. I went to The University of Birmingham to study Music and Italian and I had a wonderful singing teacher Christine Cairns who is responsible for my decision to pursue a musical career professionally.
“I then sang with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and I studied for a Masters at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I then went on to train with English National Opera and now I sing professionally with opera companies in the UK and abroad including Grange Park Opera and Opera Holland Park, and I also sing with the group ‘Polyphony’.”
What is special about Bath Opera for you?
“Bath Opera is a very friendly and fun environment to make music, and everything from the audition onwards is an enjoyable experience. It’s full of people who want to make you feel welcome and enjoy the experience, and of course stage some fantastic operas.”
In Gounod’s Faust, Siebel is a youth who is besotted with Marguerite. It is what is known as a ‘breeches’ or ‘trousers’ role in which the female performer plays a male – usually an adolescent or a very young man. It is called ‘breeches’ because of the tight-fitting knee-length pants which were the standard male garment at the time breeches roles were introduced. The most famous character of this type is probably Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
What lead roles have you sung before and particularly enjoyed?
“I have sung a wide range of roles – both female and male parts! I particularly enjoyed performing the role of Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte with Bath Opera in the 2019 Summer Tour.”
Harriet Kirk as Dorabella (2nd from left) in Bath Opera’s 2019 production of Così fan Tutte
Tell us about your role in Faust and what attracts you to it?
“My role in Faust is to play a boy called Siebel. I’ve been left to look after Marguerite whilst her brother Valentin goes off to war, and actually I’m in love with Marguerite (or so I think, in my world as a teenage boy). I have a wonderful aria to sing, and my role in the opera is to protect Marguerite.”
What do you expect to be the highlights of this opera?
“Faust is going to be a wonderful experience for all who attend, the chorus are sounding fantastic and the combination of Dave Key-Pugh’s direction and Rupert Drury’s conducting, with a fabulous team of soloists is very exciting.”
Bath Opera: Faust
20 – 22 February 2020
Faust: Robert Felstead
Mephistopheles: John DesLauriers
Marguerite: Hannah Drury
Valentin: Rick Fitzsimmons
Siebel: Harriet Kirk
Wagner: Edward Harper
Marthe: Gill Clark
Musical Director: Rupert Drury
Stage Director: Dave Key-Pugh
Buy tickets for the Gala Night on 22 February
A limited number of tickets are being made for the final performance of Gounod’s Faust. For a supplement of just £15 on top of the standard ticket price you can attend a special Gala Night Reception with introductory canapés and Prosecco, and hear an introduction to Gounod’s Faust by Bath Opera’s patron, distinguished operatic soprano Isobel Buchanan.
Call the Gala Ticket hotline on 01935 475219
Standard price tickets are still available for all three performances on 20-22 February at the Roper Theatre at Upper Oldfield Park in Bath.