I discovered opera by accident when I was sixteen years old, not in an opera house, but at The Warehouse. I had five dollars pocket money that I had saved up, and as I wandered around the aisles a beautiful silver CD glinted at me from the bargain bin. ‘100 Best Classical Hits - $5’, it said.
That summer’s afternoon, I returned home and disappeared up to my room with my new purchase of this mysterious ‘classical’ music. What I heard next changed me profoundly.
Vogliateme bene, un bene piccolino…Exquisite voices singing the love duet from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly sailed out of the little stereo in my bedroom, and struck my sixteen-year old heart right to its core.I was so affected by this music that I decided right then that opera had to be my life and my world.
I graduated from the New Zealand School of Music in 2011, with a Bachelor and Postgraduate Diploma of Music (Distinction) under the tutelage of soprano Margaret Medlyn. During this time, I further developed my passion for opera, performing lead roles in the School’s operatic productions and collaborating with New Zealand’s leading musicians in recital and chamber performances.
Following my graduation, I was appointed as a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, with whom I made my mainstage début in the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. I attended the New Zealand Opera School for four summers between 2010-2013, and made my Australian début in the title role of Cendrillon with the Melbourne Opera Studio in 2013.
Since I discovered opera all those years ago, I have been on many journeys with music. Now, I’m about to embark on my biggest journey yet. In September I’m moving to one of the coolest capitals in the world, to study best music schools in the world – The Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.