Studied: Monash University
Likes: Dogs and dumplings
Dislikes: Cauliflowers and wet socks
How did you feel winning 3MBS’ The Talent?
It was such a humbling surprise to win, especially given that no other singer had won the competition before. The whole process was such a great experience, and I definitely learnt a lot. Performing live on the radio was something I had to get used to, as usually you can see your audience and can feed off their energy, but this was just me and my associate artist Ed Chan in the studio, having to imagine the audience listening all around Melbourne. It was a fantastic experience and I’m so grateful to 3MBS for their continued support of young artists like myself.
Photo © Daniel Spellman
What did you perform?
I performed two pieces. The first was Rusalka’s ‘Song to the Moon’ from Dvorˇák’s Rusalka. I love this piece as I think the sense of longing is so beautifully created through the octave leaps which are so distinctive. The second piece I performed was Ophelia’s Lament by Alison Bauld, a setting of text from Shakespeare’s Hamlet where Ophelia is descending into madness, betrayed by everyone around her. Throughout the piece, I had to portray not only the character of Ophelia, but also the King and Queen at different times. Alison is such an interesting composer, and I’ve had the pleasure of having her guidance and feedback throughout the process of performing this piece. I think it is so important to perform new compositions, and especially those of Australian composers. As a young performer I feel a sense of responsibility to maintain the traditions of classical music while ensuring that new music keeps the genre alive. That is why I love the pairing of these two pieces, as you see the juxtaposition of traditional and new music and how well they work together.
What advice would you give other young singers on the competition circuit?
Just keep putting yourself out there! Perform as much as you can and compete in as many competitions as you can. Getting feedback from many different experts and teachers is the best way to develop your technical skills, but also grow as a performer. Taking part in competitions is a great way to build confidence with performance as well, so just keep persisting.
Who would you consider your vocal role models?
When I was little, my parents used to play Andreas Scholl every night while my sister and I were going to sleep. To this day my Dad believes that this subconsciously shaped the timbre and colour of my voice. I don’t know how much that is true, but I have always admired his beautiful musicality and resonance. I also love the tone of Kate Miller-Heidke, and I find her voice striking.
When did you realise that a career in opera was the path for you?
I vividly remember my first singing teacher stopping me in a lesson and saying that one day she could imagine me singing opera on stage. That sparked a curiosity which has just developed more over time. I don’t recall a specific moment where I decided that this was going to be my career. When I left school I knew I wanted to study music because I loved it, and I just wanted to see where it would take me. Here I am nearly five years later!
How do you approach a performance?
I always try and have my music learnt and memorised well in advance if possible. This means that in the days leading up to the performance itself all I need to worry about is staying healthy and thinking about how I want to express whatever it is I’m singing. The day of a big performance I will usually listen to recordings, either of myself or of other singers I admire, and go through my intentions with each piece, and what I want to express to the audience. I make lemon, ginger and honey tea and make sure I’ve had a lot of water to drink.
Which opera roles would you like to perform in the future?
Seeing Aida for the first time I was entranced by the character and the arias. I would love to one day perform this role. I’ve also always admired the character of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and I think she would be very fun to perform.