More than 1.2 million viewers watched Elenora Hu reach the finale of the TV show for opera talent Aria won. A dream come true for the young Delft soprano: She receives a scholarship at the Dutch National Opera. “I was there for fun,” she says modestly.
‘A brilliant voice in a very diverse repertoire’, the jury of the TV program praised the 26-year-old student from HKU Utrecht Conservatory. Judges Rosemary Joshua, Tania Kross, Henk Poort and Jaap van Zweden chose her voice over the other twelve participants in the talent show.
She had to keep her mouth shut for three months, for the program was already recorded last summer. “I was not allowed to say anything at all,” she says. “Only my immediate family knew that, because they were allowed to be part of the audience. It’s also nice to have someone close by who you can talk to at that moment. ”
At home with parents
Due to the covid crisis, Elenora lives with her parents again. “Young singers pursuing an international career in opera need to invest a lot of time and money in developing and maintaining their craft. In order to perform at a high level, you should ideally spend six to seven hours solely on your voice. Unfortunately, it is now difficult to keep your head above water due to covid. ”
She actually likes it at home too. Elenara comes from a warm family. Her biggest fan is her grandmother, who collects everything Elenora has left behind in her young career. “My grandmother has always sung in a choir,” she says. “We lived next to my grandparents. It has always been a close bond. ”
Buggy at Ikea
Still, it was not the grandmother, but a customer at Ikea who saw an upcoming singer in the little Elenora. “My parents were walking through the store in a buggy when a woman approached them. She had seen me move and hum along to the music and said to my parents: Your daughter is going to music lessons.”
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Elenora was a member of the children’s choir of Nicolaas en Gezellenkerk, at home she often sang in her attic, and when she was fourteen she dared to perform on her own during the Christmas concert for the school choir and orchestra at Stanislas College Westplantsoen. “I was a very shy girl,” she says. ,, I was hidden behind the rest of the choir, so I was almost invisible. I remember the photographer going back and forth, looking for where that voice was coming from. “
I love opera a lot and would like to spread it
As a child, she went to the show The magic whistle belonged to actor Frank Groothof and had received the CD afterwards. She quickly memorized it and sang along to everything. Unsuspectingly, her mother took her to the opera for the first time at the age of eight. It was Lucia di Lammermoor, an extraordinarily eerie opera. “The blood splatter flew over the stage, the music literally came at me,” she says. “Too much for a child. I left the opera for a few years back then.”
With the idea that there was no dry bread to be earned in music, Elenora set out to study English language and culture in Leiden after graduating from high school. “It was my plan B, but before I got my bachelor’s I was still auditioning at the conservatory. Singing is part of who I am as a person. ”
Although the competition is fierce, she will become an opera singer, play with the best musicians and travel the world. “I love opera a lot, and I want to spread that. To introduce as many people as possible to this art form. With that setting, I participated in the program Aria†
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