We regularly feature interviews with inspiring women and parents from all areas of the opera world. Read them here or receive them directly to your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.
Superstars Charles Castronovo and his wife, soprano Ekaterina Siurina have two children and both are world-renowned opera singers with major international careers, often appearing together.
Writer and SWAP'ra Patron
Fiona Maddocks is the classical music critic of The Observer. She has written books on Hildegard of Bingen, Harrison Birtwistle, “Music for Life”, and a short guide to 20th Century Music.
Cheryl Barker & Peter Coleman-Wright
Soprano and Baritone
soprano, Cheryl Barker and baritone, Peter Coleman-Wright have been juggling parenthood alongside an international opera career for years.
Sarah Tynan & Leigh Melrose
Soprano and Baritone
British soprano and SWAP'ra Patron, Sarah Tynan is well established as one of the most exciting and versatile singers of her generation. Sarah and baritone, Leigh Melrose, talk about their experiences as parents in opera.
Irish soprano Anna Devin was a Jette Parker Young Artist at The Royal Opera and is widely admired as an engaging actress as well as bel canto singer. She has appeared at Teatro Real, ROH, Glyndebourne and Göttingen Festivals and others.
Francesca works as an Opera Director nationally and internationally. In 2001 she set up Opera by Definition and was its Artistic Director for ten years. Currently, she works mainly as a Revival Director in the UK.
Australian baritone Nicholas Lester studied at The National Opera Studio and has appeared at Danish National Opera, Scottish Opera, WNO, Opera Holland Park, ETO and NZ Opera. He is a father of two.
Australian mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2011 Helen represented Australia in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and is establishing herself as a rising UK star.
Orpha Phelan has directed opera internationally for the last 15 years. A favourite in Scandinavia, Orpha has recently made her debut in Denmark with the Royal Danish Opera with her new production of Powder Her Face.
Stage and Artistic Manager
Rebecca Moffatt was a stage manager for several years, working for ETO, OHP, BYO and UK conservatoires, before becoming Artistic Administrator at ETO. She is now a full-time mother to her son, Finn with her husband.
Much-loved British mezzo-soprano, Yvonne Howard, reflects on her career so far and shares her wisdom in our latest interview: 'Treat your colleagues with respect and kindness. Treat yourself in the same way..'
Rising star, Holly Mathieson shares her wisdom about a conducting career in this extraordinarily honest interview. 'The road to this career is precipitous and emotionally scarring for even the most entitled young white man'
Mezzo-soprano & SWAP'ra Patron
Legendary British mezzo-soprano, Christine Rice has performed at venues including Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, ENO, Oper Frankfurt and Teatro Real. She is also a mother of four.
Simon Keenlyside & Zenaida Yanowsky
Baritone and Prima Ballerina
Husband and wife, baritone Simon Keenlyside and dancer Zenaida Yanowsky offer a unique insight in to the challenges of family life as two parents operating at the absolute top of two art forms.
Celebrated American soprano, Christine Goerke has earned great critical acclaim particularly for her dramatic Wagner and Strauss roles at all the world’s major opera houses.
Scottish mezzo-soprano, Karen Cargill was the 2002 winner of The Kathleen Ferrier Award. She has sung major roles at The Royal Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper, Glyndebourne Festival and more.
Gillian Moore MBE
Manager and Educator
Gillian Moore is Director of Music at The Southbank Centre in London. Gillian was awarded an MBE in 1994 for Services to British Music. She also writes and broadcasts regularly about music.
Mary Bevan is well-known to UK audiences. In the 2017/18 season, Bevan debuted at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene, and sang the title role in Turnage’s new opera Coraline for The Royal Opera at the Barbican.
Legendary and much in-demand British mezzo-soprano, Catherine Wyn-Rogers is a regular at English National Opera, The Bayerische Staatsoper, The Royal Opera, Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals and many others.
Australian/British soprano Anita Watson was a Jette Parker Young Artist at The Royal Opera. Most recently she has sung Anne Trulove for Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Pamina for Welsh National Opera and Governess for Teatro La Fenice.
Rosalind Plowright OBE
Rosalind Plowright is one of the most celebrated artists of our time in a career spanning more than 35 years. She was acclaimed as one of the world’s great spinto sopranos, specialising in roles such as Medée, Alceste and Norma.
Lucy Crowe studied at the RAM, to which she has recently been appointed a Fellow. With repertoire ranging from Handel and Mozart to Donizetti’s Adina and Verdi’s Gilda she has sung with major opera companies throughout the world.
Rebecca studied at the RAM and, since then, has appeared at many major opera houses, including The Royal Opera House, ENO Aix-en-Provence Festival . She returns to ENO in 2019 to sing Queen Tye in Philip Glass's opera, Akhnaten.
Company Chorus Members
Choruses form the backbone of the music-making on stage and have a unique perspective as full-time singers attached to one company at a time and often on stage for multiple consecutive nights in several different productions.
Writer/Director, Poppy Burton-Morgan founded Metta Theatre in 2005 and wrote and directed 'Roles' at the V&A in 2018. It's 'really on us as directors to make sure that we’re re-telling these stories in a way that resonates with our own times.'
Sue Nicholls is an Artist Manager with the agency, Hazard Chase and has always been supportive of artists who are parents: 'This business is volatile and careers can be very short, even at the highest level. Your family is with you for life.'
An early wrist injury prompted Jessica to move from playing organ to studying law, until she found her true calling in opera. Jessica shares her experiences from within the opera and classical music industry.
Director and Designer
Award-winning Opera and Theatre Director and Designer, Isabella Bywater has designed sets and costumes for over 50 international productions, including many for Jonathan Miller.
British mezzo-soprano and singer to watch, Katie Bray won the audience prize at the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and has appeared with ENO, Opera North, Garsington Opera, OHP and Scottish Opera.
Gillian Keith has emerged as one of the country's leading lyric sopranos. She made her ROH debut as Zerbinetta and is at home in contemporary repertoire, recently appearing in the premiere of Turnage's 'Coraline'
Writer and Librettist
Jessica Duchen is a freelance music journalist, novelist, librettist and playwright whose work appears frequently in the Guardian and BBC Music Magazine, among other publications.Jessica wrote the libretto for the opera, Silver Birch.
Widely-recognised as a great singing actresses of her generation‚ Janis Kelly has appeared at many of the World’s leading Opera Houses‚ including ROH and The Met. She is also a prominent voice on concert platforms and in Hollywood films.
Alice Farnham is one of Britain's leading female conductors. She is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Women Conductors with the RPS - an award-winning programme to encourage women into the conducting profession.
David Butt Philip
British tenor David Butt Philip was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House. In 2014, he made a hugely acclaimed English National Opera debut as Rodolfo in La bohème, cementing his status as one of Britain's leading tenors.
A former BBC New Generation Artist, celebrated British mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Johnston studied at Cambridge University and the RCM. She is in demand worldwide and is particularly associated with the Bayerische Staatsoper.
Mezzo soprano Rosie Aldridge studied at the RCM, and was a Jerwood Young Artist at the Glyndebourne Festival. Rosie was in the Ensemble at the Wiener Staatsoper and has appeared at numerous European houses.
Roxanna Panufnik studied composition at the RAM and her work – opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, orchestral and chamber compositions, and music for film and television – is performed all over the world.
Maria Mot is the Associate Director in the Vocal and Opera Department at Intermusica. Maria has always been supportive of artists who choose to become parents and in this interview, shares an insight in to her own experience as a mother.
Anne Sophie Duprels
French soprano, favourite on the UK stages, particularly Opera Holland Park, Anne Sophie Duprels shares her struggles and triumphs as a mother for the entire duration of her career in an unusual and wonderful industry.
Soprano Louise Alder is one of the UK's brightest stars. She was a finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and won best Young Singer at the International Opera Awards 2017.