Multi-talented musician Josephine Korda, who is studying at the Royal Northern College of Music for a master’s degree, has become Opera North's latest female conductor trainee - a role developed by the company to help redress the gender imbalance among classical music conductors.
Over nine weeks, she will help to prepare the company’s forthcoming productions of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Tosca and The Cunning Little Vixen, and take part in a masterclass with music director Garry Walker and the Orchestra of Opera North, as well as studying with principal guest conductor, Antony Hermus.
Before Christmas. Josephine attended rehearsals and coaching sessions for the three productions, as well as concerts in the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds and had one-to-one sessions with Garry Walker and guest conductor Andrew Gourlay.
She was principal trumpet of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (which she once conducted while still a teenager), and studied composition and conducting at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and advanced contemporary repertoire conducting at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana.
During degree studies at Oxford she created the Occasional Orchestra, for which she commissioned new works from choreographer Charlotte Edmonds. Competition successes include being a finalist in the 2021 international Besancon Competition for young conductors. She has been a guest conductor at a women’s conducting masterclass with the Philharmonia Orchestra; assistant conductor (2020-21) at the Opera de Massy in Paris, and musical director for Frederique Lombart’s Feminin-Masculin, a production exploring the role of gender and sexuality within opera. A composer herself, she founded the Paris Sinfonia, with whom she conducts concerts featuring classical and contemporary music.
“I am so excited to be with Opera North this season,” she said. “It is going to be invaluable to be a part of the development of three such different and impressive operas.”
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