Stage Director: Opera-Theatre-Musicals
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to thank you again for the work we did in Auckland. I had my audition at Guildhall last week, and sang the Stravinsky – and just found out I got in! The great thing was that, after all the work we had done on that aria, I felt so calm and in control in the audition, and much more able to really perform it even under stress – so thank you very much! -Katherine M., Soprano: Auckland NZ
I wanted to write to you to thank you and say how much I learned from your course…I went on to audition at the Guildhall School of Music in London and in all three of the audition rounds I found myself re-creating/inventing the arias that we worked through together and because of the planning and “beats of action” we talked through, I felt so much more confident and comfortable…I have been accepted into the Opera Studies Programme at Guildhall on a full fees scholarship, which I am just over the moon about. I really believe that the coaching sessions with you made such an enormous difference to my thinking about singing and performing in general and I am very thankful to have had the time to work with you — thank you for helping me to set my standards for myself much higher. -Madison N., Soprano: Auckland NZ
I wanted to say thank you for what you’ve taught me over the past couple of years in your coaching sessions, masterclasses and workshops at Pacific Opera. I’ve been chosen as a scholar for the Melba Opera Trust this year and I felt so much more confident presenting my audition pieces due to the work we have done together. One audition panel member said that she found my performance really engaging and I’ve been getting lots of feedback from various people in the industry about how much my acting has improved. -Georgia H., Soprano: Sydney
I thought of you after I received a roar of applause from my performance of Philip’s aria for a performance at the Savage Club here in Sydney after the PO masterclass that you gave me. Even though I was sick on the day of performance, the work you did with me, helped keep that performance together and I actually sang better than ever! -C. Nazarian, Bass: Sydney.
Soprano Shauntai Batzke was nominated for the 2016 Broadway World Awards as Best Actress in an Opera and Best a Supporting Actress in an Opera for her performance of Old Alice at the Sydney Opera House debut in September: “I wanted to thank you for the coaching I had with you on the aria. It really opened up so many more opportunities for me to explore and the audience to see Alice throughout her lifetime in just a few moments.”
After working their arias with Chuck Hudson, Counter tenor Nicholas Tolputt won the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the Merenda Legacy Prize and The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Award at the IFAC Australian Singing Competition, and the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship; Soprano Sarah Wang won the Australian Singing Competition, and was awarded SAARBRÜCKEN Opera House prize including a full scholarship to a Young Artist Program in Europe; Mezzo Soprano Bronwyn Douglass placed third in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award; Soprano Jessica Harper won Best German Language Song or Aria at the Sydney Eisteddfod; Bronwyn Douglass and Jessica Harper also moved on to the Final round of Australia’s Best Emerging Singer Competition; and soprano Kate Amos was awarded a prestigious scholarship from Melbourne University to assist her to travel to Cardiff, Wales where she received a scholarship to attend the Welsh International Academy of Voice. Kate also placed First at The Melbourne Male Welsh Choir Singer of the Year Award.
Led by soprano Sheri Greenawald since 2002, the Merola Program has an impressive faculty, including local and visiting artists, such as Vinson Cole, Jane Eaglen, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Peter Grunberg, Chuck Hudson, Bruce Lamott, Patricia Kristof Moy, Kevin Murphy, Barbara Scott, César Ulloa, and Christopher Verdosci. -Janos Gereben in “Merola’s Proving Ground for Opera Future”, Culturevulture.net July 2015
After working their arias with Chuck Hudson in April, tenor Michael Petruccelli was selected as one of the six finalists for the 2016 Lady Fairfax New York Study Scholarship through the Opera Foundation for Young Australians. Soprano Zoe Drummond, counter-tenor Nicholas Tolputt, and mezzo Bronwyn Douglas advanced to the quarter-finals of the Sydney Eisteddfod competition.
I really feel that my performing skills have improved because now I find that the choices I make when performing are clear, specific, and concise, at least more than they were than before our coachings. Thank you for that! – J. Lovell, Tenor (San Francisco)
I really enjoyed getting to work with you last week. I found the way you broke things down to “observation, discovery, and action” really helped me be in the moment and get out of my head. I won the MTNA Young Artist Voice competition this weekend in which I was able to employ your suggestions. -P. Wolf, Tenor (Alabama)
Elizabeth Lewis wins Opera Foundation Australia Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship:
They chose Porgi amor as the panel choice so I “Chucked it” like nobody’s business. Thank you so much for your help. The prize means I will go to New York for 6 weeks to work with coaches and teachers. I would love to work with you when I am there if you are available. –Libby Lewis, Soprano (Melbourne, Australia)
Such great information, material to think on for years to come … I am so very appreciative of Leah Partridge for giving our class and the Music Theater class the connection to Chuck Hudson…and his concise approach to bringing us into his experiential movement for singers. What a gem!…I know the time flew by! 5 hours felt like much less than that. –Eileen Moreman, Opera Chair: Kennesaw University School of Music 2015
Our scholars were extremely fortunate to work with three leading industry professionals – celebrated soprano Yvonne Kenny AM, international opera director and movement coach Chuck Hudson and the talented mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble. The program involved a week intensive program with Chuck Hudson working on aria interpretation and acting. –Melba Trust Newsletter, No. 11 2015
After working their Arias with Chuck Hudson in 2015 the following Australian singers won various awards and competitions: Morgan Balfour was a Finalist and 3rd Place Winner of the Bel Canto Award; Jeremy Kleeman advanced as a Finalist in the Australian Singing Competition 2015 (winning the Merenda Prize, the Bel Canto Voice Program Scholarship, and the Christine Leaves Award); Kate Amos, Nathan Lay, Matthew Tng advanced to the Semi-Finals of the Herald Sun Aria Competition and Nathan Lay advanced again to the Finals; Laura Scandizzo won the German Singing prize in the Sydney Eisteddfod; Pamela Andrews and Rhian Saunders won multiple awards and prizes at the Orange Eisteddford; Elizabeth Lewis was a finalist in the Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship and a semi-finalist in the German-Australian Opera Grant. Additionally, American Soprano Julie Adams (San Francisco Opera MEROLA and ADLER PROGRAMS) won First Place at the 2015 Elizabeth Connell Prize International Singing Competition in Sydney.
I won 3rd place in the Los Alba Vocal Competition down in Houston. I sang all 4 pieces that I have worked with you…and I received nothing but wonderful comments – including that my Embroidery Aria was so effective and haunting. I directly attribute that to YOU and the work we have done together – so thank you very much! -Kim Giordano, Soprano: Seattle/NYC 2015
I sang for the Opera Foundation Australia in their annual round of Scholarship auditions…The panel were very complimentary afterwards, both on my singing but also on my dramatic presentation. Today I received a call telling me that I am a finalist in this year’s Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship…(and) I’ve been chosen as a semi-finalist in the German-Australian Opera Grant for this year. -Elizabeth Lewis, Mezzo: Melbourne (Australia) 2015
Chuck Hudson’s teaching is SOOOO valuable. We are proud to have most of our singers for the coming season go through his ‘boot camp’ of 15 hours over 5 days. A tremendous and heartfelt thanks to Chuck Hudson for his incredibly smart, motivating, creative and SPECIFIC teaching over the last week. Our cast members for the upcoming Beaumarchais Trilogy gained so much information and insight! –Chris Fecteau, General Director of dell’Arte Opera Ensemble 2015
I’m currently doing the Opera Works Winter Intensive and was just thinking of you and the work that we did together on the Madame Mao aria. Because of the clear focal points with Pat Nixon & the Chinese people that we established and the active verbs that we chose together, I felt really confident performing it for the Aria Marathon we had here on Day One and it’s also the piece that got me accepted to this program. Grateful for your insightful coachings! -A.S., Soprano NYC 2015
After working their aria packages with Chuck Hudson in 2014, the following Australian Singers immediately won the following awards: Margaret Plummer (Sydney) won the Opera Foundation Australia’s Vienna State Opera Award, Jeremy Kleeman (Melbourne) won the Melbourne Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year Award, Morgan Balfour (Sydney) won a place in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival for 2015 through the Joan Sutherland Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Awards, and and Thomas Strong (Sydney) won the Opera Foundation Australia’s New York Opera Award.
I had always found acting rather daunting, but Chuck Hudson has changed that for me. I will never forget his daily quotes such as, ‘It’s not the day nothing happened to a boring person’ or, ‘Any choice is better than no choice’. After completing Chuck’s workshop, I feel inspired to challenge myself, and that I now have the confidence and skills to take on any opera character, big or small. – Nikki Hill (Soprano) in MELBA MAGAZINE Edition 11 Spring 2014
Mr. Hugo Llorens, Consul General of the United States of America, and Mrs. Lisett Llorens with the Opera & Arts Support Group Inc request the pleasure of your company at a Reception and Recital: U.S. Consul General’s Residence. Guest of honour will be renowned New York stage director and master teacher, Chuck Hudson. The Opera & Arts Support Group continues to sponsor his stagecraft and movement workshops, which have significantly assisted and inspired many young professional singers. Chuck will be demonstrating his unique aria coaching technique with selected singers he is currently working with, who will also perform during the evening, accompanied by Bradley Gilchrist. -Consul General of the United States Gala Invitation, (Sydney)
I just sang an audition and felt confident and sure of myself. I was able to treat the audition as a performance, and loved the freedom that came with fully inhabiting a character. I was able to do those things more easily because I had a dramatic and “visual” plan that was well thought out and familiar. Thank you for sharing those tools with me, and for empowering me to become the best performer and auditioner that I can be. I really appreciate it! -E.B., Mezzo-Soprano NYC.
Several of the Aussie singers advanced to the final rounds of national and international competitions this year, such as Corinne Cowling (Perth), Kate Amos (Sydney), and Anna Voshege (Melbourne) all of whom sang in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition Finals in Sydney. Sam Roberts-Smith (Sydney) and Thomas Strong (Sydney) were selected as a Finalist in Opera Foundation Australia’s Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship.
August saw students of both DBS and the Gary May Voice Studio (GMV) combine to share a day with the brilliant and insightful New York Director, Chuck Hudson. Students from Musical Theatre, Opera and Contemporary/Pop genres were united by his unique approach to universal storytelling, specificity of text and visualisation. Combining his years of international training with over two decades of practical directing, performing and auditioning experience, Chuck focused his techniques on the audition situation and how to “own the space”. It was an informative, affirming and inspirational day seeing nine professionals from their respective genres workshop their repertoire with one of the greats. We look forward to Chuck’s return to Australia in 2015 and hope to work with him again soon! -David Butler—Voice Instructor/Singer (Melbourne)
Final dress of my first ever Butterfly tonight! I’m so excited. A long time ago, a really smart man named Chuck Hudson taught me to ask questions. About everything. He taught me to do the research, analyze and map out the story arc, my intentions, my objectives and my super objectives, amongst many other things. I really don’t think I could have taken on this role without these things. -M.H., Soprano. San Francisco
Chuck Hudson was one of the most brilliant, revolutionary, modern, relevant and inspiring mentors we have had the privilege of working with this year. His instruction and method changed the way I approach my singing and allowed me to not only lower my guard, but to leave it down in the future and trust my intelligence and imagination implicitly. I now work more effectively and do not second guess the validity of my dramatic choices and I could not have had a more positive experience. -L.F., Soprano Melbourne (Australia)
Just wanted to thank you for our work/coaching on Glitter & Be Gay (back in May 2012!). I ended up getting cast as Cunegonde and did 8 performances of it last June and then was recently nominated for “Best Leading Actress” for Cunegonde and “Best Female Solo” for Glitter & Be Gay…Thanks for all of your help with that aria! -A.S., Soprano (NYC)
I just wanted to thank you again for the incredible week of masterclasses you held in Melbourne. Since then I have been making real improvements in presenting my arias and songs.This concept of specificity is so strong. Since the masterclasses I had a call back audition for a USA/Canada tour with a group called The Ten Tenors. I have now been offered the 4 month tour from Jan to May 2014. -R.B., Tenor. Melbourne (Australia)
“Wow was that a fun four hours – it just flew by. Chuck Hudson you have boundless energy and for real Jimmy Levine smile under pressure!” -Karen Rich, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (NYC)
Thanks to Chuck’s classes at Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, singing Lucia is now apparently super fun! -K.M., Soprano 2013
I won Third prize as well as Audience favorite at the Madison Early Music Festival’s Handel Aria Competition tonight!…People were telling me I have great stage presence and I was very dramatic. A huge thanks to you! -W.N., Soprano NYC
The masterclasses were phenomenal!! Chuck Hudson is a genius stage director! He truly opened my eyes and mind to an infinite amount of possibilities as far as character development! I loved it!! –M.M., Tenor NYC
Chuck Hudson’s (master class series): It reinforces much of what I’ve studied before, but it’s still brilliant, necessary and motivating. -H.M., Soprano NYC
Chuck Hudson’s masterclass totally freakin’ blew me out of the water! Can’t wait to see what the next four days will bring. –E.G., Soprano NYC
Chuck…your ears must have been burning from all the praise your workshop sessions received. -Kathleen Areecchi, NATS Winter Conference 2013
I’m really excited, and, honestly, give a lot of credit to you. I don’t feel nervous in my auditions since I started coaching with you. I know exactly what I sing and why I sing it. It’s such a relief to enjoy auditions again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! -J.R., Soprano, NYC
For those who haven’t had the opportunity to work with Chuck Hudson, the following interview gives a glimpse of why he is one of the most sought after coaches and directors around; he has an incredible gift in helping both emerging and established professionals bring their physical presentation to life, both in the audition room and in performance. It is a great pleasure to offer this interview covering the work one should (or must!) do to prepare your audition arias: part II, covering Chuck’s thoughts on the singer’s relationship with their stage director, will come next week. Enjoy! -Julie Baron, YAP Tracker Interview.
It was a terrific masterclass. I really appreciated what I learned (and reviewed!) as an observer and as a participant. I especially appreciated that you were instructive while supportive. Often masterclasses are very stressful for the singer because the teacher feels the need to demonstrate that they know more than the singer, rather than just sharing their knowledge and ideas. It’s always the teachers that have talent and KNOW it that just make everyone improve while looking good. bravo! -R.B., Counter-tenor.
Your master class was, by far, one of the best experiences I had this summer. -E.G., Munich (Germany).
I got into the Santa Fe opera young artist program! I’m very excited about it, and feel that I owe thanks to you for helping me prepare…Not only did I feel like I could make a clear statement about who Mimi is in this aria, but also, having an understanding of what was going on in every moment allowed me to be more present (and less nervous!) than I have been in previous auditions. A huge thank you! -S.H., soprano.
Thank You for a tremendous afternoon. You never fail to amaze me with your inventiveness and humor and insight into your singers and the lives of our characters. -L.B., soprano.
Anyone who has ever worked with Chuck knows that he asks exactly the right questions to take the drama to the next level. -Jennifer Petersen, Music Director, OperaMission.
Chuck, Thanks for all the help and guidance on my arias! I knocked them out of the park and won the Met’s Gulf Coast Regionals! -D. K., Mezzo-soprano.
Best in the biz for singers: two words–Chuck Hudson. A phenomenal acting coach who has worked for several young artist programs and is also a director. Can’t go wrong. -classicalsinger.com
(Chuck) is amazing. I have never felt as confident in auditions as I did this year after working all of my audition arias with him. Call him. -T.B.: Soprano, Los Angeles
I just wanted to thank you for all the help you gave me on my arias. I am convinced that if I had not worked with you, I would not have had the confidence to jump into those European auditions, nor would I have had the same results. In short, I did three auditions and I got three jobs out of it. -D.G.: Counter-tenor, NYC.
You have been one of the most positive highlights in my development as a singing actress. I learned so much from you and it feels so good to be able to grow from that, I just wanted to thank you. -M.P.: soprano, Miami.
It’s very exciting to get work! It’s amazing what happens when you learn how to present your arias in dramatically coherent manner. Thank you, thank you, thank you! -I.D.: Soprano, NYC
Chuck, I think you’re fantastic and I really like your ideas and your energy. I was amazed at how much my singing freed up once I was dramatically engaged and confident in my demeanor. -S.D.: Soprano, Miami.
I think Chuck Hudson was the answer to my problem. The three auditions I did following my coachings with him all had positive outcomes. I’m happy about that. -L.J.: Soprano, NYC
Your enthusiasm and inspiration make it so easy and suddenly the endless years of scary energy about this aspect of auditioning have disappeared… I’m on my way and very grateful for you! -K. R.: Soprano, Seattle / London.
I just worked all of my audition arias with Chuck Hudson, and I am so confident now going into the audition season. -S. C.: Soprano, NYC.
Coaching with Chuck is truly energizing. He has so many tools to help you bring your role into your body in a way that is so rare in the theatre. I’d do it again in a second. -M.M.M.: Actor, NYC
They say you only see twelve great shows in a lifetime. I suspect that may be true. I have seen Chuck Hudson direct three shows that left me in a state of transport, and I do not praise easily. -Joann Farias, Playwright
It is very true that you help actors become physically alive on stage … Just the 5 weeks we worked, you gave me a whole new world to explore and new ideas and ways to move my body. -C. H.: Actor, North Carolina
Chuck was a really great guy to work with, as he had so much fascinating information which he presented with real purpose, but also great humor! -Tiffany, Actor, NYC
Making relationships between characters visible, giving physical shape to thematic relationships and their dramaturgical significance, even asking the audience to reconsider the information given in the score…are all part of the task. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of doing a production with you knows the performers are both comfortable and challenged, which is what we all want! Comfortable enough to utilize all they have spent years learning, and challenged to add to that almost daily in rehearsals and on stage at night. -Kamal Khan, conductor of Cape Town Opera, quoted from an online discussion