Opera Australia’s Brünnhilde talks about her rise to fame and fortune and Ring cycles old and new.

How did you first know that you wanted to be an opera singer?

I went to watch my brother in the chorus of the Pirates of Penzance. I was still in primary school but I loved it. I really wanted to get on the stage. I didn’t decided there and then but it obviously sparked something off in me. I didn’t really decide I wanted to do it until I was about 17. I grew up in the northwest of England and the Royal Northern College of Music has a Saturday morning school. I went along as a pianist and I had to have a second study. I didn’t play any other instruments and my brother said, “Oh you can sing in tune. You just have to sing a couple songs to fulfil the requirements.” So I pitched up, sang my songs and then they said, “Would you mind coming back this afternoon and singing to the Head of Voice?” Well, I said, “Wait a minute I’m here as a pianist”. They said, “We want you to do singing, but you can...

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