INTERVIEWS

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.

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Christine Goerke

Soprano

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.

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Fiona Maddocks

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.

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Katie Bray

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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Gillian Keith

Soprano

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'

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Jessica Duchen

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. 

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Janis Kelly

Soprano

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.

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Rosalind Plowright OBE

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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David Butt Philip

Tenor

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.

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Rebecca Bottone

Soprano

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.

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Roxanna Panufnik

Composer

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.  

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Poppy Burton-Morgan

Stage Director

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.'

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Maria Mot

Artist Manager

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.

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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.

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Christine Rice

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.

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Charles Castronovo

Tenor

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.

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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.

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Karen Cargill

Mezzo-soprano

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. 

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Catherine Wyn-Rogers

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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Mary Bevan

Soprano

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.

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Alice Farnham

Conductor

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.

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Nicholas Lester

Baritone

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.

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Jennifer Johnston

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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Orpha Phelan

Stage Director

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.

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Opera Chorus

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. 

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Yvonne Howard

Mezzo-soprano

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..'

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Anne Sophie Duprels

Soprano

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.  

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Louise Alder

Soprano

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.

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Isabella Bywater

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.

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Cheryl Barker & Peter Coleman-Wright

Soprano and Baritone

Australian powerhouses, 
soprano, Cheryl Barker and baritone, Peter Coleman-Wright have been juggling parenthood alongside an international opera career for years.

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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.

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Anna Devin

Soprano

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. 

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Francesca Gilpin

Stage Director

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.

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Anita Watson

Soprano

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.

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Helen Sherman

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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Lucy Crowe

Soprano

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.

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Rosie Aldridge

Mezzo-soprano

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.

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Rebecca Moffatt

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.

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Holly Mathieson

Conductor

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'

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Sue Nicholls

Artist Manager

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.'

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Jessica Cottis

Conductor

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.

©2019 BY SWAP'ra - Supporting Women and Parents in Opera
Registered Charity in England and Wales, UK: Charity No. 1185454

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