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Dominique from Hong Kong, classical and opera singer

Dominique Chan
From: Hong Kong
Studied: BA (Hons) Music (Classical), and Postgraduate Diploma in Performance (Voice) at Leeds College of Music
Now: Classical and opera singer, vocal coach and choir conductor

Choosing to study in the UK turned out to be a great decision for classical music student Dominique Chan from Hong Kong – she went on to win several awards and singing roles in Leeds and Manchester.

Now back home in Hong Kong, Dominique is a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Chorus, Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Society of Hong Kong Chorus, a vocal coach and tutor of the Hong Kong Children's Choir.

Here, she shares her experiences as a singer and international graduate. Scroll down to see one of her performances!

'My life was filled with music from childhood, and it’s always been the only subject that I’m interested in. I first started to receive piano lessons at the age of three, and joined a choir and started ballet training at the Hong Kong Children’s Choir from four. Then I started to do classical vocal training at the age of 13.

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'I first played the role of a prince in a very short musical when I was nine and suddenly thought, "Right! This is what I want my career to be; to be a singer, an actress, a performer!"

'When I first came to study in the UK after I finished the HKCEE (Hong Kong equivalent of GCSEs), I did an English language course at Chichester College. My Dad found out about Leeds College of Music from the internet and asked me if I wanted to apply – it was the principal choice as far as my Dad was concerned, so I gave it a go and I am still very glad that I listened to him.

'I really love the free lunchtime concerts at The Venue at Leeds College of Music, which are held by the Leeds City Council. They’re free, and always fabulous.

'I won the Agnes Grisdale Trophy for singing in 2004 and Friends Scholarship in 2008 at the college. I became an active competitor in several musical festivals, and won awards including the Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society trophy (2009) and the Pamela Bowden trophy (2010) at the Mrs Sunderland Music Festival; the Leach Trophy, the Ethel Scott Trophy, the Rothwell in Bloom Trophy and the Kirkwood Rosebowl at the Rothwell Music Festival (2012).'

Dominique singing 'Voi che sapete' from The Marriage of Figaro, at the Opera Seria Gala Concert in November 2011:

'I would love to perform in an opera house like the Royal Opera House in London or the Leeds Grand Theatre, because we do not have an opera house like that in Hong Kong. I’m dying to sing even just once on that stage.

'I stayed in the UK for one year after graduation and I joined the Leeds Youth Opera and Opera Seria (Manchester) during that time. I was a chorus member at Opera Seria, and in the Youth Opera I played the role of the Empress in The Poisoned Kiss and Rosette in Manon.

'I am now a freelance classical and opera singer, vocal coach and choir conductor. I came back to Hong Kong in July 2012, and have been working freelance since then. I’ve even sung in a few movies in Hong Kong, such as As the Light Goes Out (2013), The Seventh Lies (2014) and Get Outta Here (2015).

'In 2013 I wrote a script and directed an ‘opera buffa’, a comedic opera. It was a story based on Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and was made up of nine arias, duets, a trio and sextet, all chosen from Mozart’s operas. I also created some dialogues in Cantonese in between songs, to make it easier for the audience to understand the story and what we were singing about.

'I found it very challenging, but I am writing another opera buffa for next November with a few young singers who also graduated from the UK, and others from Holland and Australia.'

Right: Poster for one of Dominique's performances,
with fellow Leeds College of Music alumnus Alfred Ng

Recently, Dominique sang in the six-member chorus of the chamber opera DaTong in the Hong Kong Arts Festival. You can read more about her on her website.

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