She may never get to be Mary Poppins, but thanks to a lot of hard work and competition success she will fly to the Big Apple.
Born Echuca, 1992
Studied Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Likes Dogs, travel and mango sorbet!
Dislikes Slow internet, burning my tongue and running late
As a young singer, who were your inspirational voices?
Growing up, I was always in awe of Julie Andrews. My dream was to be Mary Poppins! Then, through studying opera, I was introduced to incredible sopranos such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney and Patricia Petibon. These women are absolute technicians and charismatic performers. I am also inspired by contemporary music singers that exude musicality and passion, such as Glen Hansard, Kristin Chenoweth, David Phelps and Sia. This year I have been fortunate to have been coached by operatic royalty – Renée Fleming, Yvonne Kenny and Dame Felicity Lott – who continue to motivate me!
So did you have a Road to Damascus moment when you realised opera was something you were seriously interested in?
I was always drawn to classical music, participating in choirs and community theatre groups. However, I do remember seeing productions such as Show Boat and The Tales of Hoffmann, and experiencing that excited buzz in my belly. Propped up on jackets and spare cushions to be able to see the stage, I felt energised and excited by the enormity of classical music.
As someone who has succeeded on the competition circuit, do you have any tips for other young singers like yourself?
Competitions are an incredible way to step forward in your career. However, the circuit is really tough emotionally and physically. From what I have experienced it takes a lot of focus, preparation and strategic thinking… but also the ability to let the losses go. This year I headed into competitions just wanting to do my pieces justice, and thought “whatever will be, will be!” The Opera Foundation for Young Australians’ Finals was a warm and friendly experience. Everyone was incredibly supportive and professional and I feel I grew as a performer.
How do you approach a performance? Do you have a routine?
Nothing stresses me out more than being late. I warm up my voice and body, and mentally run through the music and drama of my pieces so I have the performance mapped out in my mind. I make sure I am dressed and ready in plenty of time. Before performances I tend not to eat much, but I do drink gallons of water! I also really like to brush my teeth before singing, turn my phone on aeroplane mode, double check my hair… and smile!
What has been your favourite role to date, and do you have a bucket list for the future?
My favourite role to date is Monica from The Medium by Menotti. She is so complex, a burdened child who has learnt to cope. In the future I would love to play the fabulous dying ladies – Violetta in La Traviata and Mimì in La Bohème – but would also love to do something fun like Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel or Adele in Die Fledermaus.
What has been your career highlight to date?
My three career highlights all happened this October! I made my principal debut with Opera Australia in The Eighth Wonder, The Seven Sopranos released a CD called Popcorn that I sing on, and of course winning The Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship. Working with the Foundation on creating my New York plans is an exciting new venture as it has a solid history of over 50 years of assisting young Australians with their careers.
If you could choose a single conductor and a particular singer you would like to perform with, who would they be?
I would have loved to work with Leonard Bernstein. He was such a genius and incredibly passionate. His music is bold and intense. I’d also love to perform alongside Joyce DiDonato. She seems like she would be a barrel of laughs and has such contagious enthusiasm.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ve always aspired to live in a foreign speaking country and I think the time is very soon. So in five years I am not sure where I will be, but I hope I am a steadily employed opera singer who is happy, inspired, and loved!
The Seven Sopranos’ Popcorn is out now