It was a boiling hot day in August 2019 when a message popped up on my Instagram from Marianne Goodale, thanking me for the follow. I saw she was a classical soprano singer based in Rutland and immediately suggested coffee. It was so exciting for me to meet another professional musician based in our small county and so we both jumped at the chance to work together (watch this space…) and meet up.
It turns out the road to being a professional musician is different for everyone: some go through music college, some through university and some start off on a totally different path. This was the case for Marianne, and so I had to find out more!
Marianne has always dabbled in music since she was a child and had lessons to a very high standard on numerous instruments including cornet, piano, flute and harp (so we were friends straight away)! She won a Music Scholarship to Ardingly College and there she took up the oboe very quickly to fill the vacancy in the School Orchestra!
She began singing lessons aged 14 and was inducted into the school choir as the lead soprano where she has fond memories of performing evensong and services at prestigious churches including Winchester Cathedral, St George’s Chapel, Windsor (home to the marriage of Harry & Meghan) and St Paul’s Cathedral. Anything to do with performing, Marianne was there and jumped at every opportunity.
However, here begins the conflict. As with many people facing the choice of a career, Marianne briefly considered a career as a musician - but it's not the most inviting on paper. Long, unsociable hours; few salaried jobs around and high competition for those that do come up; potentially long stretches of time away from home and on top of that, you’ve got to believe in yourself 100% - not everyone will like you!
Marianne is half-French (another thing I love about her!) and so went off to study French and Spanish with European Studies at the University of Bath, but not before completing a gap year in Chile with the Raleigh Project (just like Prince William and Kate). At Bath she sang socially in an acapella gospel choir and while completing her Masters Degree in Interpreting and Translating she began singing at friends’ weddings in the UK and abroad.
After working in London for 5 years and having a long distance relationship she began re-evaluating what was really important. This is vital for all of us, life can lead us down a road that sends us further away from our dreams! Having moved to our lovely county to be with her boyfriend, a Rutlander,she continued to commute to London until finally it was time for a change.
Marianne reconnected with her old teacher and gave herself the target of completing a Trinity Performance Diploma in one year. Marianne’s voice had matured and changed in the 10 years or so since she had been singing regularly and she needed to find out what this new voice’s capabilities and potential was. This might sound funny but imagine how just our speaking voice changes so much over our life! She is a huge believer that we never stop learning, especially as musicians, and as an adult stepping out there and saying “this is me and this is what I would like to present to you” is terrifying!
So where is she now?
Well, Marianne is now a full time professional Classical Soprano, performing at weddings, funerals, christenings, concerts, and as a soloist with Choral Societies – including a recent tour to Luxembourg.
When considering Marianne for your wedding, you have so many options. She has a standard set of repertoire but is always open to discussing other options, but is also mindful of the fact that her voice is not suited to everything, particularly pop music. She is always honest with this as she wants to give her clients the very best experience. For the same reason, she would always recommend live music accompaniment if your budget can stretch to that, as opposed to a PA backing track. Live music enhances everything!
When you book any musician, you are not only booking them for that day but also you are receiving the culmination of years of study, learning and development. Marianne has this in spades and we are so lucky that she made the change to let the world have the gift of her voice. It is such a passion for her, and this comes across in every performance.
We will be working together on a couple of upcoming projects… keep your eyes peeled!
All photos by Sarah Ellen Bailey – www.sarahellenbailey.co.uk
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