Making the move from international opera star to eight-shows-a-week Broadway baby.

I was first asked to consider South Pacific a couple of years ago. Lyndon Terracini said he was thinking of doing it. “There’s nothing definite,” he said, dangling the carrot, “but just go along and have a listen to it in New York when you’re there.” Then it was gonna happen and it wasn’t gonna happen until I was completely desperate to do it. I was bowled over when I finally got the chance. I’d done A Streetcar Named Desireand Dead Man Walking, both are operas in a different vein, but never a straight musical. The extent of my experience was Oklahoma!at school, when I was 16.

The first day of rehearsals was one of the most daunting of my career. I’d just jumped off a plane from France and I was expecting a music call but I arrived to find everybody sat around a huge table with the director and choreographer and we were asked to do a read through. The singing side didn’t worry me at all but I was very nervous about the words. Having to do a French accent concerned me a...

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