"My advice to you would be… When you’re starting out it’s really important to have good role models around you and I was very lucky with that, I had my parents and April. Equally important is working hard at what you love. Don’t go for the quick fix like The X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. Play the long game. You have to put your heart and soul into it and understand that you’re in for a long run. That is when you get the best out of whatever field you chose."
Natasha Marsh, Opera Singer
It took me a long time to discover I wanted to be an Opera singer, I certainly didn’t know it at school. In fact, I had to learn about opera before I could understand it! My musical career hasn’t been straight forward at all. It’s been a long journey, and in the end a fruitful one- one I wouldn’t change.
I grew up surrounded by music- everything from Mozart to Pink Floyd, Shirley Bassey to world music. My parents didn’t aggressively install music into us, but it was always there.
Then when I was about four I took part in a production of Oliver. From that moment, it felt great to sing in front of people. It felt natural and instinctive and I loved it.
At school I loved writing and languages- I was not great at science- but it was drama and music which really drove me. I liked sports too- running, basketball- and became a football fan. But at the age of 13 I began to get bullied a lot- I was very tall for my age and became very sensitive and self-conscious. The taunts mainly came from mean girls. So in order to get away from them and their teasing I ended up throwing myself into an extra-curricular, out of school world. I ended up singing in a choir, taking part in drama and shows, and making a lot of new friends. I think that helped me become a more confident individual, less sensitive and less worried about my appearance, and do you know what? Those bullies faded away and became irrelevant to me.
At the age of 17, I realised I wasn’t using the top end of my voice, the high notes. It was then that I met an amazing teacher, April Cantelo, who still gives me lessons to this very day, even though she’s a lovely old lady now. But it was April who took me under her wing and taught me how to use my voice, showed me a voice needs training, not forcing, and it needs looking after too!
Having found my love of music and my unique voice, I went on to the Royal College of Music. And can you believe it? When I got there, I didn’t actually like opera. I thought it was boring! But after studying it for a little while, I realised how wrong I was, it wasn’t boring at all, it was full of passions; the music, the writing, the acting, the artwork, the production, absolutely everything about it oozed passion! After several years of studying I realised I wanted this to be my life, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I found out I could make a living out of it. Now it’s my career, I do stage productions across the world an even get to do TV productions which reaches out to audiences across the globe.
Singing at the 2008 League Cup Final was just amazing. I knew then that football is just like opera- the roar of the crowd when someone scores is just as good as reaching the highest note. I love the passion, beauty and power that football and music share.