As a professional singer, what’s it been like for you since COVID-19 began?
It’s been pretty soul destroying. I have sung with Opera Qld for 25 years so I miss performing with my OQ family terribly. I am fortunate though as I have another job to help with my regular expenses that has not been Covid-affected but so many of my friends and dear colleagues here and overseas have been hit super hard without their passion and income! It’s so great to see the Arts finally starting to re-emerge here in Australia now!
Most people who want to be singers would rather be Beyonce than Bartoli, or Bruno Mars than Bryn Terfel; so why classical singing?
Well to be honest I love all genres so to sing like Beyoncé would be amazing! I guess it was classical to start with as I was trained classically at the Qld Conservatorium and oratorio and opera were my first professional singing jobs….along with lots of weddings to support myself while I studied!
Which singer/s are your vocal heroes and why?
Hmm there are lots! I adore the wonderful American mezzo soprano, Joyce Di Donato. Apart from having a glorious voice, she is a beautiful person. She is so down to earth and sings from her soul. Her online master classes are very inspiring. Another vocal hero is American soprano Angel Blue. She is beautiful inside and out. The richness in her tone and effortless singing is like vocal velvet. Check her out on You Tube in the Met’s production of Porgy and Bess!
What’s the most helpful vocal or performance tip you’ve picked up from your teacher/s?
Stay calm, drop the jaw and breathe!! There is also much to be said for lots of non-vocalized practice!
What pieces or works are on your performance “bucket list”?
You know I’ve never had a role in a musical theatre production so I reckon that would be amazing as I’d love to belt out a show tune. I’m just not sure my dancing is up to it!! I’d also love to do the mezzo solos in the Verdi Requiem. It’s an incredible work!
If you could invite five guests (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Haha, well this might surprise you as they would not all be musos! So my dinner party might have an unusual dynamic! I would have to say Roger Federer as I have always loved him and he is such an inspiration both on and off the court. Giacomo Puccini as no one writes Opéra like him and I’d love to talk to him about it! Next would be another tennis player Serena Williams, as she has an insane drive to never give up and fearlessly believes in herself and I think we all need a little of that attitude. Next would be the Queen of England, another absolutely inspirational woman who has seen and lived so much life in her long reign on the throne. Would be fascinating to talk to her about all of the history she had witnessed and the people she’s met… The final one would be my dear dad who we lost too soon to cancer almost 5 years ago. I miss him every day and have so much I’d love to tell him.
What else might we find on your play-list besides choral and classical music?
Well as I mentioned, I love all types of music so I have a real mix on my playlist. I love a bit of doof doof dance music, I love jazz so some Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald etc. I am an 80s kid so I also love a good 80s rock ballad…something from Foreigner perhaps? I also love Coldplay and since the age of 13 have been a massive Duran Duran fan! Still am!
Besides singing, do you have any special talents or skills you’d like to share with us?
Hmmm…well I played the flute and piccolo for 17 years and I can wiggle my ears!! Does that count??