Christina Johnston is being heralded by many to be one of a kind in the music world. She is already making a name for herself in the classical sphere, possessing a vocal range that makes her stand out amongst her contemporaries. Counting Presidents and officials from all over the globe as some of her biggest fans and having toured across Europe, South America and Asia, she has now released her debut album ‘Blessing’, which is already gaining positive reviews.
Featuring selections by Mozart, Rachmaninov, Puccini, Bellini, Dvorak, Gounod, Handel, Grieg, Johann Strauss, Canteloube and the notoriously difficult arias ‘Der Hölle Rache’ from The Magic Flute and ‘Bell Song’ from Lakmé by Delibe, the album helps showcase Christina’s gift for languages as well as her incredible range.
We caught up with Christina to find out a little more about her love of music and what her hopes are for the future.
“From a very early age I always dreamt of being on stage and singing but there is a big difference between having a dream and realising it,” says Christina as we open our conversation. “There is an element of luck in everything we do as well as hard work and endeavour.
“When I was 9-years old one of my teachers told my parents that I should be an opera singer. At first my father was quite resistant because he was understandably concerned that I should have a more stable career. But when it’s in your heart you can’t really ignore it and over time I think he came around to the idea.”
When she was 18, Christina moved to the Guild Hall School of Music to study her craft and several years later met her husband in her early 20s before moving to Prague.
“My husband isn’t as much into music as I am but he is a big supporter of my work. We met when we were both still studying and when I was 22 we went to live in the Czech Republic. In this part of the world classical music and opera is very popular. People tend to attend many more concerts and it was a great place to be as I was improving my art.”
Her debut album, ‘Blessing’, has been a labour of love that she is supremely proud of.
“I loved the experience. It was a 2-year endeavour and I played an intimate part I pretty much every aspect of the album. I chose the tracks myself based upon my favourite compositions. Some are challenging, some might not be immediately familiar but all were key pieces of music that have influenced me or had an impact on me.
“It’s a shame that more young people don’t listen to classical music but I think this is more to do with a lack of visibility than a real interest. The truth is that there is a growing movement back towards classical and opera.
“For me, to see my album in the stores now is amazing. It was such a good experience to bring it to fruition and I am keen to get as many people as possible to hear it, not for commercial reasons but purely because I want others to share in my love of this medium.”
Is she hadn’t made it in music what would she have attempted as an alternative career path?
“In reality I always knew that if it wasn’t music then I would have become a vet. I love animals and I had always set myself one goal in the early days. When I made my application for the Guild Hall, if it was rejected then I would have given up on the idea of being a singer. Fortunately, I was accepted on the same day I had my interview and the rest is history!”
Outside of her career, what does she like to do to unwind?
“I love horse riding and painting and I am also a fitness enthusiast. I like to run and take yoga. I’m also a big movie fan. It’s not uncommon for me to lock myself away and indulge in a film binge when I have a free day off!”