Soprano singer Eve Daniell, originally from the Island, is seeing her career take off in Europe during her first year out of school, but is working to establish herself in Canada as well. She’ll be performing at St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Aug. 17 with Rykie Avenant on piano. Here, Daniell performs in the Marriage of Figaro for the Royal Academy Opera in 2015. — Robert Workman

Singing the West Coast to the Queen

Island soprano to perform at St. Mark’s Aug. 17

Soprano Eve Daniell, originally from the Cowichan Valley, is seeing her career soar her first year out of education.

In addition to singing on an internationally broadcast BBC program headlined by mega opera star Juan Diego Florez, she’s also performed for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

From Canada House in London, Daniell sang Canada’s royal and national anthems on July 19, as well as Canoe, a composition by Victoria composer Tobin Stokes that Daniell said had a special meaning for her.

“I’ve just never found a piece that evokes the West Coast for me like this particular piece does,” said Daniell.

“Canada is so huge, and it’s so varied in the most wonderful way, and I just got to stand up and speak for my Canada.”

While Daniell is working to expand her connections in the United Kingdom where she’s been studying, she’s also eager to establish herself in Canada.

To that end, she’s performing on the Island this summer, and has a concert taking place at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Qualicum Beach on Thursday, Aug. 17.

It will be the dramatic coloratura soprano’s second time performing at St. Mark’s. She’ll be accompanied by pianist Rykie Avenant, and performing some well-known classical favourites as well as some Canadian music, she said.

With Daniell’s formal education finally finished, she’s looking to establish herself in preparation for when her voice is expected to reach maturity – in her 30s.

But there’s a lot to look back on, with Daniell’s first steps into music happening at age six via the piano.

Her mother is a piano teacher, and Daniell was enrolled in piano classes as a matter of course. But Daniell’s piano teacher was also a singing teacher, and suggested Daniell learn to sing as well.

In terms of genre, Daniell said she loved to sing just about everything. “I was always in the high school musical, I was singing along to the radio, knew all the words to all the Britney Spears songs, but what I really, really loved was conquering the technical challenge of classical music.

“Figuring out how to sing the extreme things that it requires. Like the really high and the really low, and being able to cut across an orchestra. That’s what I found interesting.”

Since then, she’s grown to enjoy portraying characters as well, though it’s still the extremes that excites her most.

While performing for the Queen was a thrill for Daniell, she said performing in the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms is the highest her career has thus-far reached.

She and 15 other young artists were featured alongside Diego Florez.

“It was so exciting. I was in London just washing dishes, and the radio was playing and all of a sudden I realized I was listening to an ad for my own concert,” said Daniell, laughing gleefully. “It was so exciting.”

As for the future, Daniell said she has some time before her voice is expected to hit its peak. Until that time, she’ll be working to position herself as an important talent for those in the opera world to keep in mind.

That’s especially when it comes to Mozart, she said.

“I’m a sucker for Mozart,” said Daniell, adding there are six roles in his work that she’d particularly like to play.

But she’s off to good start. Three of those roles she’s already performed professionally.

Daniell’s performance at St. Mark’s, dubbed Concert for a Summer Evening, takes place Thursday, Aug. 17.

Desserts and refreshments start at 6:45 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $20 for adults and $12 for students. Call 250-752-5414 for more information or for advance tickets.

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