News

Classical meets Cabaret –
Fiona Wilson presents Mozart’s Muses

9 Mar 2021

“The Guildhall is a beautiful venue
and the acoustics are great.”

Fiona Wilson is an exceptional soprano singer, cabaret entertainer and vocal coach with a distinguished career. Hitting number one on iTunes Vocal Charts in 2017, her majestic operatic piece, In Paradisum, was hugely popular following its feature in BBC drama Broken, starring Sean Bean and Anna Friel. Fiona has performed all over the world in her Bon Voyage one-woman show and her eclectic repertoire of opera, ‘popera’ and Broadway has been experienced by audiences globally. Yet back in the county where she is based, in June 2019 Fiona put on an extraordinary show highlighting the women who inspired Mozart’s music and she chose the intimate setting of the Guildhall as the final leg of its tour.

Mozart’s Muses, an operetta written and performed by Fiona at the Guildhall, told the story of the powerful 18th-century women who inspired Mozart. Apart from the voices of Mozart and his father Leopold, where a male actor was used, Fiona spoke and sang in solo. The much-admired one-act drama featured Mozart’s letters, his melodies and most of all his muses. Fiona’s performance celebrated the female voice and shone light on the forgotten women that were instrumental in shaping one of the greatest composers in history. A story of love and lust was told by Fiona, transporting the audience of the Guildhall’s Court Room to Vienna.

Attracting a wide-ranging audience, from experts on classical music to people who knew nothing about it, Fiona’s performance received great reviews across the board. Through this unconventional approach to classical music and its success in engaging all kinds of people, Fiona achieved her aim of demystifying this tradition of music and debunking a view of it as elitist. By presenting classical music innovatively, Fiona brought it down to earth.

“I can’t fault it as a place, the Guildhall is stunning.”

Fiona discovered the Guildhall when she sang there at a wedding in August 2018. She was instantly struck by its beauty.

From its stunning interior to its wonderful garden, Fiona described the Guildhall as a hidden gem and was excited to be collaborating with the Guildhall team for her event. Following her performance in the Court Room, light afternoon tea was then served in the Banqueting Hall.

Of course with singing being a Covid super-spreader, Fiona’s profession has taken a blow this past year. Yet working away on a new project, Fiona has adapted to the situation and set up a confidence coaching business. Offering online sessions to anyone interested, Fiona aims to teach people how to use their voice, from vocal techniques to breathing exercises. The benefits of singing are extensive, as it improves self-esteem and releases emotional tension for example. Fiona hopes to encourage singing among everybody and to end its stigma as something to be embarrassed about.

The Guildhall enjoyed working with Fiona and hope to welcome her back again soon.

Click here to find out more about Fiona’s work.

Interview by Rosie Grant.