Christina Johnston

Nicknamed the ‘Nightingale,’ Christina Johnson has been singing her whole life. From the age of nine on she began to take lessons. “I loved every minute of singing, it was my favorite part of the day and week at school apart from acting and painting.” As she has matured Christina has gained a reputation for a sound that is crystal clear with an incredible upper range that has been carefully cultivated. “I think my high notes were always there but teachers never pushed my voice as not to damage it. I only realized how powerful my top range was when I was 21 during my training at the State Opera House in Prague.”

She encourages other singers to “try and find a really good teacher who can train you and show you the right technique in using your voice. However, I think singers have to be aware not to push the voice as it is a delicate muscle and you wouldn’t want to overstrain the voice too early.”

She continued to study at Framlingham College with fellow alumna Laura Wright. This was an especially important step as Christina was unsure of her musical direction. “I always wanted to be a singer, but I didn’t know which genre I wanted to go into as I loved musical theatre, classical and pop.” The support of her teachers especially from the Head of Music, Rob Goodrich, proved to be a turning point. “He encouraged me to enter BBC Choir Girl of the Year and he also gave me opportunities outside the school to perform solos to gain more experience and grow as an artist.”

Interestingly, although Suffolk was her home, Christina would make Prague her base.  “Prague has been fantastic for me to begin my career there and gain valuable experience, wonderful teaching and showed me that classical music is still thriving. Czechs of all generations go to classical concerts often and there are concerts held almost daily around the country! I would love to bring that to the UK and show classical music is for everyone!”

One of the highlights of Christina’s career so far has been participating in the International Mozart competition. “My wonderful singing teacher in Prague entered me for the competition as he thought it would be very good for me and I was awarded 3rd place, which was wonderful. Through that, I was then heard by the director at the opera house and I got chosen to debut as Queen of the Night there. It was extremely exciting for me as I was only 22. From there I then sang in many more operas in Prague, Europe and across the world.”

It is fitting then that her debut album was recorded in Prague and is entitled ‘Blessing.’ It marks a new phase in her career as she strives to fulfill lifelong dreams. “Since I was about 16 I have wanted to be a recording artist and tour the world with orchestras. I have always wanted to make an album with beautiful music and get to number 1 and touch people’s hearts.”

“I was singing for the Film Music Festival in the famous Rudolfinum Hall in Prague 2 years ago (where I now am a regular soloist) and James Fitzpatrick (my wonderful producer) had his orchestra, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra playing for the festival. After he heard me sing, we had a chat and he believed there was a gap in the market for me and my voice, as he had discovered Lesley Garrett in the past. This was the beginning of our album together!”

Christina was especially excited about recording with a live orchestra. “There is such an electric feeling and atmosphere when singing alongside a live orchestra. I knew a lot of the orchestra members from the operas I had sung in and we all worked as a team to create something really beautiful. There was such a wonderful atmosphere in the studio during the recording sessions, it was a lot of hard work but we also had a lot of fun!”

The album was released September 22nd on Tadlow Classics and also marks the beginning of a homecoming tour entitled ‘The Miracle of the Voice.’ “I will be touring with my very talented Russian pianist, Inga Goldsmith. We will be performing a collection of beautiful songs from the album and also a few special pieces that I plan to feature on my next album. For this tour, I have chosen a lot of easy listening pieces for audiences who are new to classical music and also a couple of difficult pieces that will show off the agility of my voice and what I can do (the technical ability my voice has).”

Christina will also be featured on the upcoming album ‘On Stage’ singing a duet of ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story with Paul Potts. In addition, she shares her knowledge with other young performers through masterclasses in schools. “I would love to help young singers find their passion for classical music and all genres of music. I would love to sing more old musical theatre for example: Bernstein, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin.” Additionally, she hopes to do some songwriting as well. “I would say my ambitions are endless.”

Follow Christina on facebook.com/TheChristinaJohnston/