Episode 18- Ella Taylor
"Opera is queer af". Yet is is seated within the classical music profession- one dominated by a white, straight, middle-class and privileged persona. Musicians have never fitted this rigidity. The abundance of creativity and expression needed to connect with audiences requires a mind that thinks outside of the binary mentality. We also naturally have sexual and gender expressions that match the individual, rather than the gender construct. Still, musicians speak about this very rarely.
I am so excited to share this conversation with you.
My guest today is Ella Taylor. Winner of the Second Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Ella Taylor is a soprano with a passion for performing contemporary music and works by women and gender non-conforming artists. They were a Young Artist with the National Opera Studio for 2019/20 season, as well as a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, where they gained Distinction in MA Performance, a DipRAM for an outstanding final recital, and the Charles Norman Prize. They currently study with Elizabeth Ritchie.
Ella is a keen collaborator and recitalist, making a dedicated effort to work with and perform works by people underrepresented in classical music. Recent collaborations include the project After Violence with _REMIX; an exploration of violence and masculinity through a queer lens with drag artist Rhys’s Pieces, as well as working with composers and librettists in the creation of new, LGBT+ work. They also have performed at Leeds Lieder as part of the Composer and Poets Forum and with Ensemble 360 at Music in the Round.
In the episode, we speak about Ella's journey to identifying as trans and non-binary and what this means to them. We also speak about the world of opera and how people love to gender/stereotype voice parts. Ella shares what it looks like to be a good ally and how musicians can help promoting inclusivity and how they navigate introducing their identity to people who may have a more traditional understanding of gender.
Find out more about Ella:
I am so excited to be sharing this conversation with you!