Was singing always a part of your life?

Yes, I always sang. My father is a tenor and I used to watch him all the time, but he didn’t want me to study formally until my body and voice had developed. It was at 18 that he said I could start learning how to sing properly, so I left the trumpet behind and devoted myself to it. I actually did a lot of sculpture growing up, and was looking to study both at university – sculpture by day, singing by night. The uni didn’t let me: I think in hindsight they were right.

Jessica Pratt. Photo © Alessandro Moggi

Did you always have a facility for virtuosic, coloratura roles?

I always had an easy time with super high notes and so on, it was one of the things my dad picked up on when I was a child. I remember I was bumping down the stairs walking into a lesson where he was trying to get a soprano to sing a high note, and as a child I just did it, and I remember him turning around...