Yeoman Interview – Dominic Sedgwick
Baritone Dominic Sedgwick won the Musicians’ Company Concordia Concert Fund in 2018, and is now a Yeoman Young Artist. He is also an Askonas Holt Rising Star. A former Guildhall School of Music & Drama student, Dominic’s 2017/18 performances include his Royal Opera House debut as Marullo in Rigoletto, Second Nazarene Salome, Moralès in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Carmen and Ghost Child 3 in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera Coraline at the Barbican Theatre. He recently performed in the Jette Parker Young Artists Performance (JPYAP) 2018 showcase at the ROH.
Where did your interest in music begin?
I began singing as a chorister from the age of eight, so I pretty much sang every day from there! Alongside training in the choir, I grew up watching theatre and musicals at Chichester Festival Theatre where both my parents worked for a few years, so I spent a lot of time in rehearsal rooms.
Marullo, Moralès or Coraline – which recent role did you most enjoy?
It is very hard to choose as they all provided fantastic challenges and experiences! Performing Moralès, with his aria included, was exposing and exhilarating whilst Coraline was a brilliant opportunity to be a part of creating a whole new piece of theatre. However, Marullo was my ROH debut and the role is really involved in the narrative which made it enjoyable and a very special moment in my career.
Which role did you play at the annual JPYAP showcase?
We performed a large section of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in which I sang the role of Harlequin which was fantastic to perform on the ROH stage with my friends. I also made cameos in the other scenes: The Keeper in The Rake’s Progress, Polonius in Hamlet and Haly in L’italiana in Algeri so I was busy with my quick changes backstage!
Which awards or artist programmes have boosted your career the most?
I was fortunate to participate in the the Samling Artist Programme and Britten-Pears Programme which were fantastic learning experiences, and funding bodies including the Drake Calleja Trust, the Countess of Munster and Help Musicians UK provided me with fantastic support during my studies. The programme which I am most indebted to is the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – the training there is simply brilliant and set me up with the tools I needed to start working at the Royal Opera and beyond.
How do you keep your voice in good form?
The Jette Parker programme is very demanding and over this year I have got to know my voice very well. Keeping hydrated throughout the day and getting a good night’s sleep are the most important things, and using ‘mental practice’ to learn music is a skill I’ve used more frequently.
What pre-performance rituals help prepare you for the stage?
I’ve recently been doing a lot of yoga which has really helped my body be flexible and relaxed before a show. I then go into my usual vocal warm up and then some mental preparation of visualising the role/character I’m about to perform.
Which of your musical heroes would you like to join on stage?
I’ve shared the stage at ROH with some incredible artists in the last year, and learnt so much by watching them work. I’d love to share a stage with Simon Keenlyside as I grew up with him as one of my baritone heroes.
Any bucket list roles you’d like to perform?
I’d love to perform Billy Budd one day – but first there are many great lyric baritone roles for me to tackle!
What do you enjoy most about your career?
Performing live music, particularly opera where there are so many disciplines coming together to form a show, is an incredible experience but I really love being in the rehearsal room. Constantly meeting and working with new people who all have such different backgrounds is fantastic and playing around in rehearsal to create a show is the aspect I find most enjoyable and rewarding.
What’s next on your musical agenda?
Next season at ROH I’ll be singing Moralès and Dancaïro in Carmen, Kuligin in Katya Kabanova in a new Richard Jones production conducted by Edward Gardner and Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd directed by Deborah Warner. I’ll also make my debut in the Wigmore Hall next year as a WCOM Concodia Artist and I have numerous concerts throughout the season – so lots to look forward to!
Interview by Suzy Willmott @suzywillmott