About the artist(s)
Born and raised in London, Andee-Louise studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Opera Studio. Her operatic roles have included Berta in The Barber of Seville, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring. She has also performed the role of Frankie in Carmen Jones.
Here are highlights from Andee-Lousie’s conversation with The Enormity of Now.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Andee-Louise. I’m a mother of three children – now-widowed mother of three children. I wanted to say I used to be a singer but I am a singer, who sings sometimes. I’m a mother and I home educate my daughter. It used to be my two eldest children, and now it’s just my gal.
How did you get here?
I got here by a series of plot twists. I did things that lots of singers do: went to music college, did further training, even worked for a little while, so my career had started going – at which point we discovered that my eldest was autistic. That was one set of circumstances, and from that, problems with school began. By the time I had my third child, I’d started training and doing the audition thing and had the bombshell: that the London Education Authority said he couldn’t go to the school he was attending, and there were no alternatives. Someone had to homeschool him and that was going to be me. My husband had a more stable, better-paying job. So I stopped auditioning to educate my son. Then came a similar situation with my daughter. Personally, it’s been a rewarding journey. Frustrating, but rewarding.
How has the journey of your art/career engaged your voice – personally, artistically, politically?
My singing voice is important to me. I identify as a singer and that never goes away. My voice is a lovely self-indulgence for me, now, because it’s no longer a career. It’s something I take pleasure in – a form of self-care. It lifts my mood. It’s something that was always just me.
As time’s gone by, I’ve realised how a voice can touch someone, how it’s an intimate form of communication. It’ll touch different people in different ways. It’s a lesson in humility. I suppose it’s a thing being a Black person in this field, there are so very few black singers in Opera. People look at you and don’t expect that voice to come out of your head.
What is the voice that you found while finding your voice?
It’s my voice. It’s been enjoying what it does and how it feels. Those are personal things, in terms of sensation. I get to play with it as I please and communicate through it as I please. I’m not trying to follow someone else’s path. My path has been such a strange one. I found my voice. I feel like I’ve worked out who I am through it. Nobody else has taken the journey I have to get there.
Born and raised in London, Andee-Louise studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Opera Studio.
Operatic roles have included Berta in The Barber of Seville, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring. She has also performed the role of Frankie in Carmen Jones.
Her Oratorio repertoire includes Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah and Belshazzar, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor, and Verdi’s Requiem.
Andee-Louise is also an occasional performer of more popular music, singing songs from West End shows and jazz and blues standards.