Monday 16 September 2013
New Zealand mezzo soprano and RCM alumna Felicity Smith tragically died on Monday 9 September.
Felicity studied with Tim Evans-Jones as a Vocal Masters student at the RCM graduating in July 2012 with Distinction. She was a hugely talented and intelligent young artist who contributed significantly to life at the RCM during her years of study.
A fine intellect meant that Felicity's performances proved personal, detailed and perceptive. Felicity’s honesty and directness of approach was refreshing, as were her suggestions to improve the experience of singers at the RCM. It was a pleasure to see Felicity progressing well in the early stages of the profession.
Before coming to the RCM Felicity studied French and Music (voice and composition) at Victoria University of Wellington, as well as completing a Master of Music in musicology from the New Zealand School of Music, specialising in the French baroque.
While at the RCM she performed two roles in new operas for the RCM Great Expectations project. She sang in masterclasses with Sarah Walker, Dame Felicity Palmer, and Roger Vignoles, and was the alto soloist for a series of Bach Cantata concerts directed by Helmut Rilling for Musikfest Stuttgart.
A keen exponent of new and modern repertoires, Felicity premiered three major works by emerging composers at the RCM, and performed works by Cage and Reich with the RCM New Perspectives Ensemble. In 2011 she sang Berio's Folk Songs for the Philharmonia Orchestra's Bartok Festival.
Felicity won the 2011 Croydon Music Festival Concerto Competition singing Britten's Phaedra, and was placed third in the 2012 Brooks-Van der Pump English Song Competition. Recent operatic roles include Second Witch (Dido and Aeneas) for Britten Pears Young Artists, Shepherdess (Orfeo) for Hampstead Garden Opera (The Magic Flute) and Sandman (Hansel and Gretel) for London Youth Opera.
Felicity’s funeral and cremation took place on Wednesday 18 September at the Hither Green Crematorium.