As a professional singer, what’s it been like for you since COVID-19 began?
It’s certainly been a year of change, with many disappointments for so many in the Arts community along the way. What’s been encouraging the whole time, is that people all over the world have been fighting to keep music alive. Every small performance has been of vital importance to sustain the artistic community. With so many postponements of events, it’s quite exciting to know that we will be able to go ahead with the Brahms Requiem in November.
Most people who want to be singers would rather be Beyonce than Bartoli, or Bruno Mars than Bryn Terfel; so why classical singing?
It comes down to individual voice types and ability of course, but there is nothing more thrilling than being able to produce a sound, or hear a live sound, that is totally without enhancement or amplification. It involves the whole body, and aside from that, Classical singing repertoire contains some of the most thrilling music ever to be heard.
Which singer/s are your vocal heroes and why?
I’d have to say that American Soprano Leontyne Price is my absolute favourite – a true Prima Donna capable of evoking every human emotion with her sound.
What’s the most helpful vocal or performance tip you’ve picked up from your teacher/s?
Always keep the chiaroscuro (light and dark) in the sound, never sing past beautiful and bring the audience to you.
What pieces or works are on your performance “bucket list”?
Too much music, too little time! Maybe Mathilde in Guillaume Tell by Rossini; or Charpentier’s Louise, and Adriana Lecouvreur by Cilea. As far as Lieder, then my wish list would be Mahler’s Fϋnf Rϋckert Lieder, which may be on the agenda for 2021 – fingers crossed!
Apart from the Brisbane Chorale, what’s the next most impressive choir that you’ve performed with?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many opera companies around the world which have had fantastic choruses, as well as concerts with many professional and community Choirs. Highlights include performing the Messiah with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir – which was vast – as well as performing with the Children’s Choir from Mulhouse, France.
If you could invite five guests (past or present) to a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Let’s see…. I think this ought to be a great night! Kevin MacLeod – British Designer and television presenter – I love his passion for what he does, and his manner in presenting and interviewing. Mozart – just because, who wouldn’t want to delve into that personality and brilliance? Michael Bublé – I’m a big fan, and he just comes across as such a decent, kind-hearted, fun person. Kristen Chenoweth – she’s so talented as both a singer and actress, and gave the most hilarious, but also most touching concert I’ve ever been to. Shaun Brown – my husband – because I think we’d have a lot of fun together getting to know these people, and Shaun would bounce off them well.
What else might we find on your play-list besides choral and classical music?
Would now be the time to confess I don’t have any Playlists?!? I really don’t find a lot of time for listening to music since I am surrounded by it all day every day. However, you might find Sting, Hoodoo Gurus, Australian Crawl, Take Six, Yma Sumac, Bublé and Kristen Chenoweth.
Besides singing, do you have any special talents or skills you’d like to share with us?
Special talents? No. Hobbies? I’m a very keen baker and love to cook both sweet and savoury. My homemade sausage rolls and French Alsatian Tarte Flambée are often requested.