We had to laugh on the launch day of our new podcast Diva Download, when a satirical video appeared on our social media warning us “whatever you do in lockdown, don’t start a podcast”! How did they know?

Perhaps it was a cliché, but interviewing stars of the opera world during lockdown was in fact the optimum time to contact these difficult-to-pin-down divas. With diaries now free for months and artistic generosity in the air, we managed to secure a star-studded line-up of current and retired opera singers to shed light on the rollercoaster reality of the career.

Indyana Schneider and Sophie Kidwell. Photo supplied

As two young professional mezzo-sopranos living in Germany and Austria, we are constantly involved in conversations about opera stars – their beginnings, opinions, stories, careers, advice. However, the opaque walls of the opera world leave much to the imagination. On listening to an inspiring Desert Island Discs interview with Joyce DiDonato, we realised both how rare it is to really get to know an opera star, and that there is currently no single channel or podcast especially for interviewing opera artists. Just as there is no single way of ‘making...

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