Vocal alumnus makes finals of the Wagner Society Singing Competition

Trinity Laban graduate Erika Mädi Jones has been selected as one of nine finalists in the Wagner Society Singing Competition 2014.

Specialising in opera and Lieder, Erika graduated this summer with distinctions in both her Postgraduate Artist Diploma and MMus, after being awarded the highest mark in the vocal department for her final recital. As a Robinson Heam Scholar, Erika was a 2014 semi-finalist at the Elizabeth Connell Competition for Dramatic Sopranos and also took second place at the Roy Pleasance Competition in 2013. Her operatic credits include Leonore in Fidelio for Guildford Opera and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Ashburn Theatre in Croydon.

Erika says: “I am incredibly excited and honoured to have made it to the final of the Wagner Society Singing Competition. I'm grateful for their encouragement and support and am looking forward to the final.

“The training, teaching and support that I received from Trinity Laban has been superb and I feel extremely confident and optimistic about my future career. Both my wonderful singing teacher Alison Wells and head of the vocal faculty Linda Hirst have helped to nurture and develop my voice and technique to a level that is far beyond where it was when I started at Trinity Laban. I think the greatest compliment I can pay the faculty is the wonderfully supportive atmosphere that was apparent from day one. I've always felt that Trinity Laban was working with me help me be the best that I can be and I hope that I can repay that faith and support as my career progresses.”

Linda Hirst, the head of vocal studies at Trinity Laban adds: “Erika has a rare talent; a bigger voice than we are used to, as Wagnerian voices are few and far between. Her MMus recital was a marvellous combination of Wagner and smaller repertoire, beautifully placed and enjoyable throughout.”

Founded in 1953, the Wagner Society was set up to promote the life and works of Richard Wagner. Famous scholarship holders have included Hildegard Behrens, Peter Hoffman and Waltraud Meier.

The Wagner Society Singing Competition takes place on 30 November at the Royal Academy of Music with Susan Bullock CBE, Lionel Friend and David Gowland on the judging panel. Prizes include a cash award for coaching in Wagnerian repertoire and the chance to participate in a public masterclass with Dame Gwyneth Jones.

Trinity Laban has one of the most well respected vocal departments in the country. Not only is it the only conservatoire with a chapel collegiate choir – run by the esteemed choral director Ralph Allwood – but it also enables singers to gain experience in a variety of forms - from renaissance to contemporary, and opera to musical theatre – all of which supports students’ individual development as versatile musicians.