Phoebe's funding takes her to China
Phoebe Haines
HMUK-funded artist
27th July 2017
Phoebe's funding takes her to China

Phoebe received HMUK funding to go to China as the UK representative at I Sing International Young Artists Festival, a cross-cultural collaborative musical programme between western and Chinese opera singers. The programme included Mandarin lessons every day, so their concerts could be performed in tandem across all the languages.

The only British attendee, Phoebe’s group consisted of five Americans and members of countries that used the historic trade route, the Silk Road, including Armenia, Ukraine, Iran, Russia and Turkey.

Phoebe returned with a resounding love for the Mandarin language and thinking in new ways. With little preconception of what to expect from the trip, it was completely different to anything she’d experienced. Delighted to find that opera in China is a growing art-form and heavily invested in, audiences enjoy traditional western operas as well as modern contemporary Chinese operas, which Phoebe performed scenes from, alongside traditional folk songs and anthems at the festival.

I Sing Festival has enriched Phoebe’s career in both tangible & intangible ways. Since attending, Phoebe was approached to sing a half-Chinese, half-European repertoire for her debut at Carnegie Hall. The trip was a musically and personally enriching experience that has encouraged her to bring back the music she discovered to explore fusions in her own work and focus on mastering her art. Crucial to development, in Phoebe’s eyes, is to identify strengths and be active and driven - because DIY culture makes anything possible.

Living out of a suitcase for some months, it’s been a busy period of auditioning all over the world for Phoebe. She’s putting on a cross-cultural Chinese opera project, inspired by her trip, with some funding from the Sino British Fellowship Trust.

Phoebe continues to apply for funding for the many ideas she has in the pipeline. Her advice is to be specific, objective and as detailed as possible in describing the activity when applying. Funding opportunities can have a lasting effect on your career and this needs to be demonstrated. Keep trying and ask for feedback even if it’s not officially offered. Who knows, you might get it - like she did!

Phoebe has a performance on 6 September at the China Exchange for Chinese Valentine’s Day – The Lover’s Bridge of Magpie’s.