May 18, 2022 - By Roua Alkhalaf
In the new season of Humans of the World Marco and Erica met Irish Soprano Petra Wells in their travels to Belfast
Have you booked your tickets to Northern Ireland paradise, Belfast?
As you already know, your favourite presenters love to engage with people from all walks of life. And in this new season of Humans of the World, the people they meet are just as interesting and unique as ever. So to satisfy your curiosity about who Marco and Erica met under the roof of Carlisle Memorial Church, get ready to meet Northern Ireland Opera singer and solicitor Petra Wells!
During their meeting with Irish Soprano Petra, Marco and Erica will dive deep to discover: What is her story behind becoming an opera singer? How did she join La Bohème production? And what did she see in creative director Cameron Menzies? How did she balance working as a solicitor and opera singer? And what are her views on Opera in Northern Ireland?
We can’t reveal all of her inspiring stories and deep experiences she shared with Marco and Erica, but here are some peaks to get you excited to meet her soon on your screens.
Petra Becoming Opera Singer by Coincidence!
We know that Petra is an opera singer! However, she considers herself “sort of” an opera singer. Marco and Erica will hold Petra and ask why she does not present herself as an opera singer? Petra says that because she is no longer near the level of any of the principles on stage, she doesn’t want to do them a disservice by calling herself an opera singer! And this will make Marco wonders whether Petra studied opera or not. And surprisingly, she didn’t. Instead, she studied law at university, so singing opera is her second job because she is already a solicitor.
Then what brought Petra into the world of opera? As she was taking piano lessons when she was 11 years old, she had to sing a note back as part of the exams. So there came her piano teacher and said, “Oh, you should get lessons!”
Petra Joining La Bohème and Cameron Menzies
Then, Marco and Erica will spin the wheel of the conversation to talk about what led Petra to work under the roof of Carlisle Memorial Church as part of Cameron’s team, the creative director of Northern Ireland Opera, the brain and soul behind the first production of La Bohème in front of live audiences this year. As Petra performed an opera before, there was a production of Die Fledermaus in September 2019 where she was part of. So she absolutely loved it and put it on her CV, which is how she got noticed. So she was utterly honoured to be asked and to be part of this La Bohème production directed by Cameron Menzies.
As this is Petra first time working with Cameron, it was an incredible experience for her. They had a music rehearsal first with their conductor Rebecca Lang, and then their second rehearsal was with Cameron. During one of the conversations the cast had with him, he was getting everyone involved in this story of La Bohème, why the choice of setting the show in the 1920s, and how it is relevant to the modern-day. As Petra explained, it is not quite post-pandemic but recovering from it because, in the 1920s, Paris was also recovering from the first world war.
Is Singing Opera replacing Law in Petra Life?
Petra qualified as a solicitor in September 2021. However, the office was very supportive when she got a role to join Cameron’ team. The whole department and her boss went to one of her shows to cheer and support her!
Therefore, although Petra works in an office as a solicitor, she is very lucky in this department. Petra understands that many places would not allow their employees to go out in broad daylight to have an audition, said Petra. But her department knows that singing opera for Petra is not just a hobby but a real job.
A girl who never applied to major in singing at the university because she believed she hadn’t reached the same level as others in singing. But thanks to her mother, when Petra’s application was accepted to study law, her mother told her, “You are not give up singing!” Despite this, Petra was already passionate about both. As much as she wanted to study law, she loved and outshined in singing as well.
Opera in Northern Ireland in Petra’s Eyes: Giving Young Singers Opportunities to Perform
For Petra, standing on stage and singing remains very emotional, especially after a long break away from the stage. No matter how little the audiences are, it is great for her. So singing opera is not only a form of art. Petra sees herself and all the opera singers in the place where art has been forgotten and underappreciated. Despite this, Northern Ireland still takes an interest in opera. Many opera production companies take care of people downtown and hold many musical shows with young talents. This makes Petra feel proud and pleased because people still appreciate opera and always strive to revive it. Seeing Northern Ireland giving young singers opportunities to perform is truly a matter of gratitude and pride at Northern Ireland Opera.
Petra as part of La Bohème
Do you see yourself as an opera singer? Are you looking for someone to nurture your talent and make you professional? Are you also torn between two jobs you love? What about the role of Petra in La Bohème? Marco and Erica interview with Petra is your chance to answer your questions and maybe pursue your dream of singing opera.
Humans of the World Northern Ireland is on the way, and the story of Irish soprano Petra Wells wonderful human from Belfast, will soon be streaming on Britalians TV!