Clare Hood

Clare Hood's Profile Photo

In 2018, with the support of a scholarship from the Anne Reid Memorial Trust, Clare moved to the UK to study opera and vocal studies with Jane Irwin at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). Her studies there are also supported by the Helen Mackaness Award, a Dame Eva Turner Award, the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust, and the Waverley Fund, as well as an Anne Bellam Music Scholarship, and a Graduate Women New Zealand Fellowship.

Prior to that, she studied with Drs Morag Atchison, and Te Oti Rakena, at the University of Auckland School of Music, New Zealand, where she graduated in classical voice performance with a BMus (Hons) in 2017, and MMus in 2018, both with first class honours.

While completing her studies at the University of Auckland, she was a soloist for the Last Night of the Proms with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra under Peter Thomas, soprano soloist for the University of Auckland’s Carmina Burana under Emeritus Professor Uwe Grodd, a return soloist for the contemporary music ensemble the Karlheinz Company, and a member of New Zealand Opera’s Freemason’s Chorus, most recently for their productions of Manon Lescaut, Aida, and L’elisir d’amore.

She attended both New Zealand Singing School, and New Zealand Opera School, and has been awarded an Auckland Arts Excellence Award by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, as well as twice winning a Lilburn Trust award for best performer.

Clare has appeared as Antonia (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Penelope (The Golden Apple) and Le Feu (L’enfant et les sortilèges), as part of the University of Auckland Music School’s Wallace Opera Training Programme. She has also regularly performed with Auckland’s Opera Factory, most recently as Madame Herz in their production of Der Schauspieldirektor and in a masterclass with Simon O’Neill. Other roles include Die Witwe (Elijah) and Israelitish Woman (Judas Maccabeus).

At the RNCM, Clare has sung principal roles in numerous fully staged operas and opera scenes. These include Madam Wanton (The Pilgrim’s Progress), Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmelites), Die Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw), Mademoiselle Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor), and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus). Clare has also been privileged to take part in public masterclasses with Sir John Tomlinson, Amanda Roocroft, Susan Bullock CBE, and Graham Vick CBE.

Clare’s performances as Madam Wanton (The Pilgrim’s Progress) and Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites) have both received positive reviews, with Opera magazine’s review noting a “delicious cameo from Clare Hood as Madam Wanton”; and, Number 9: Theatre, Music, and Film noting: “… soprano Clare Hood as the new Prioress, Madame Lidoine, brought a richly spiritual voice to the convent as it entered its darkest times”.

Clare has recently been a semi-finalist in the prestigious IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition; a semi-finalist in the McCormick Aria Competition; and a finalist in the Dame Malvina Major Wellington Aria, winning the Robin Dumbell Cup for the singer with the most potential. She looks forward to returning to the RNCM to complete her final year of study on their prestigious PG Diploma in Advanced Performance in 2020/2021, with support from an RNCM Entrance Scholarship, and the Evelyn M Harrison, Kathleen Mary Reardon, and John Baros Scholarships in Music from the University of Auckland.

Clare would like to thank the Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarship for their generosity in supporting her in the first year of her Masters studies at the RNCM. Without their support, she would not have been able to take up her offer of study at this prestigious school of music.

Madeleine Ballard

I’m undertaking a Masters Degree in English Literature at the University of Oxford, specialising in literature from 1900 to the present. I’ve spent the year studying in astonishingly beautiful libraries, consulting first editions at the Bodleian Library, writing my strongest academic essays to date under the guidance of field-leading academics, and meeting fascinating people from all over the world. I could not have had a more special experience, either academically or in extra-curricular activities.

I’m currently finishing up my dissertation, after which I will begin an editing and copywriting internship in London, with the hope of settling down there for a few years before returning home with my new skills. I would like to thank the Anne Reid Memorial Trust scholarship for helping make this life-changing year possible.

(May 2019)

Lorelle McNaughton


After being awarded the Anne Reid Memorial Trust scholarship in 2016, Lorelle moved to Spain to undertake specialist studies in the interpretation of Spanish piano music at both the Academia Marshall and Liceu Conservatori in Barcelona. She has studied with some of the most renowned living interpreters of Spanish music, including Albert Attenelle, Carlota Garriga and Marta Zabaleta.

Since her first visit to Barcelona in 2012, Lorelle has made a name for herself as an expert in the field of Spanish music, being invited to present lecture-recitals at leading universities such as Melbourne, Avondale, Wollongong and Sydney Conservatoriums. She co-founded, with her teacher Natalia Ricci, the first Spanish Music and Dance Symposium in Sydney in 2013, ‘Encuentros Españoles’, which involved a week of recitals, masterclasses, workshops and lectures from over 20 international artists.

Since moving to Spain in 2016, Lorelle has made numerous contacts who are very enthusiastic about her passion for the music, and have encouraged her to stay and continue to delve deeper into the repertoire. Lorelle continues to reside in Barcelona with the help of private sponsorship, where she is continuing her studies at the Academia Marshall. In July 2018 she has arranged to bring her teacher, Marta Zabaleta, to New Zealand with her for a series of masterclasses and recitals of Spanish music. She will be returning again in October 2018 to perform a tour of recitals of solo piano music and music for voice and piano from the great Spanish composers. Lorelle plans on returning regularly to NZ to help share and expose this beautiful and evocative music with our audiences around the country.

Receiving the Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarship in 2016 played an enormous part in helping Lorelle make her move to Barcelona and continue along this path of Spanish music. It has opened several doors for her, and she is well on her way to getting this wonderful repertoire played more often in our country.