Published on August 26, 2022
Sarah Dockrill (2011) has had a long and endearing relationship with the HVGS community. A talented singer and performer while a student at the School, she returned in 2015 as a Specialist Music Teacher – tutoring and sharing her vocal talents and gifts with HVGS students.
In 2019 Sarah left teaching to pursue her solo singing career, which was evidently impacted by COVID. But Sarah is now back on her musical journey, with a grand adventure about to begin as she prepares to leave Australia for the opportunity of a lifetime in Wales.
What were your passions at school?
My passions were music, English, drama and history. I loved singing in the Stage Band and performing in the school musicals.
You’re a Soprano – is there anything special you need to do to keep your voice in tip-top shape?
I must ensure my voice is well looked after and healthy. It’s similar to an athlete and their sport. They must warm up and cool down. This is also the case with singing – I warm up before singing for an extended period and cool down afterwards.
Some purest will avoid certain foods and drinks that can affect the voice, such as coffee, but I can’t do that!
What’s been your career highlight?
That’s tough! I’ve been rather fortunate with differing opportunities both as an ensemble and choir member and as a soloist.
Earlier this year, I was a soloist with the Willoughby Symphony, which was my first orchestral debut will an orchestra at the Chatswood Concourse.
“I had my operatic debut this year as Lady Billows in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, which was an incredible milestone.”
We hear you’re moving to Wales. What sparked this new adventure?
The timing was somewhat inconvenient, but I had left teaching at HVGS at the end of 2019 with the intention of really giving my own singing career a go. I was due to travel and spend the European Summer in Munich for the Bel Canto Summer School, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. A few planned opportunities fell through as a result. I always knew that I wanted to move to the UK at some stage to gain further training. I auditioned for a few schools in the UK last year via online recordings and was offered a few places; however, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama appealed to me the most. So that’s where I’ll be heading!
What will you be doing in Wales?
I’ll be studying at RWCMD – a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. My year of study will help prepare me for the audition and competition circuits after finishing my diploma. It is very challenging to break through in the UK’s audition circuit without the connections and exposure and without studying at one of the prestige colleges. I’m hopeful that after I finish this year of further study, I’ll be able to secure some performance work in the UK.
What’s your big dream in life?
Most simply put – to be a Principal Artist.
There are specific opera houses and companies I dream of working at, such as the Royal Opera in London and the Vienna State Opera. It would be the ultimate dream to be able to return home and perform in the Sydney Opera House with Opera Australia.