A. I am really happy with how we have put together the program for Opera in the Paddock — it is a wonderful mix of opera, operetta, and classic songs, and I can’t wait to sing it all with orchestra. I am also looking forward to teaming up with Tim Sexton again having really enjoyed worked with him on Cloudstreet in Adelaide last year, and finally, Armidale is where my Mum was born and where my grandparents lived and worked for a time — so it is always meaningful for me to come and sing in the area.
Q. Have you had the opportunity to perform very often in rural Australia?
A. I have a few relatives who live in regional areas and I would say that has developed a strong connection and understanding of the bush and the fantastic opportunities and challenges of living in a regional community. I have also performed quite a bit in rural Australia — Last year I got to see a lot of regional Australia on the Opera Australia regional tour of the Marriage of Figaro. We visited about 20 towns including Armidale. I have also taken part in another regional tour — The Magic Pudding throughout Victoria. And I sang in Opera New England’s production of La boheme in 2014, again in Armidale.
Q. What are some of the things you enjoy about the country?
A. The fresh air, the many stars in the night sky, and the more relaxed setting.
Q. Do you think there are any differences between rural and metropolitan audiences?
A. Certainly not when it comes to opera knowledge. I regularly come across big opera fans in the country. Perhaps if anything a greater appreciation for each performance as there aren’t generally as many.
Q. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
A. Being part of the creation of two new Australian operas last year, Cloudstreet, and Voyage to the Moon — the latter also being my first professional lead, my first national tour, and my first individual Helpmann Award and Green Room Award nomination.