Ed did it. He’s living his dream. After four months working behind a desk as an accountant, he quit his job and became an opera singer.
Well it didn’t happen just like that of course. He had to work at it and had to work hard.
“There’s this popular view that you just decide to become an opera singer and then it happens, but anyone who has made it knows that it takes years of training and you have to knuckle down to learn the languages, the music, the stagecraft, the costumes, the lighting.”
There’s also the lifestyle. Travelling around the country and around the world for auditions, rehearsals, and performances.
One day Ed, who lives in London, will be to Hereford and back for The Three Choirs Festival (at six hours notice!), and the next day he’ll be cycling from Greenwich to Kings Cross and then up to Cambridge and back for another performance. Then he’s off to France for a month to rehearse and perform Handel’s Acis and Galatea.
Ed’s flown to Spain for two days to perform Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with The King’s Consort and has spent a month rehearsing and performing in South Korea, Vienna, Luxembourg, and Cardiff, to name a few.
So how does he keep up with all the material he has to learn for these various performances? By staying two weeks ahead of his performances, Ed says.
And how does he manage to travel so seamlessly between venues? With his LAT_56 Red Eye Garment Bag.
Because you thought the businessman was the most prolific traveller? Think again. Think opera singer.
“Luggage is a big part of a musician’s life,” Ed explains, “I’ll go from performing in a teeny, tiny church in Sussex where my bag is shoved in a corner with all the other equipment, to performing at St. John’s, Smith Square where I have my own changing room.”
So it’s not just that Ed’s jet-setting around the world to sing opera, he’s also going between vastly different venues and on all sorts of transport from planes to trains to cars to bikes. And this is why a musician needs a versatile, robust bag. “You need a bag you can trust to not break and to keep all your kit secure.”
At the end of the day, what it comes down to is this:
“You’ll get off a plane and find yourself in the middle of nowhere, but you still have to give your best performance. That’s what our lives are about and LAT_56 is perfect for so many people in my world who travel all over for very short periods of time.”
The Red Eye can fit Ed’s performance gear including suit, shoes, bow tie, and cuff links, his iPad and various gadgets, music and pencils in a surprisingly compact case that he can swing over his shoulder and cycle to a concert without hindrance or board a plane for a two-day away performance.
“It just makes travelling more enjoyable,” Ed explains.
It also helps him get noticed.
Ed started singing when he was ten in the church choir. He then studied as a choral scholar at King’s College Cambridge but didn’t consider pursuing singing professionally. Hence the accountancy stint at Deloitte.
“But then I realised that every weekend I was singing in a choir anyway, so why not follow that? I thought to myself, ‘If I don’t do it now, then I never will.’”
Then the ex-director of music at St. Paul’s Cathedral put it this way to him, “There are 10,000 accountants but only one person with your voice, so use it.”
Ed made the daring decision to quit his job and pursue a singing career. “I knew I might never make as much money, but I’d be happy.” Then he got a scholarship to study opera at The Royal College of Music. He’s been living his dream ever since.
But like all industries, “It’s all about who you know,” Ed explains, “You have to get people to notice you.” Of course the primary way to do this is to sing your heart out and give the best possible performance.
But your luggage can also make a difference.
“I had eight to ten conversations with people who asked me about my bag.”
At the a recent performance, Ed was surprised by the number of people who stopped to ask him about his suit carrier. “Everyone thinks it’s a trumpet case and they want to know why I brought my trumpet with me,” he laughs.
And you never know who’s going to ask next – it could be the Director at the Royal Opera House, for all Ed knows!
So as Ed heads off to France to rehearse his latest performance, he has his trusted travel companion to keep his suit crease-free and all his concert materials at the ready, as he works hard, turns heads, and makes dream reality.