So first, a little bit of background.
Many years ago, I met one of my closest friends, Whitney Erickson, whilst singing in an opera out at Parramatta Riverside Theatre. I was working as a makeup artist at the time, and Whitney was singing full time at Sydney Con. Whitney started asking me along to perform with her at various gigs, and before we knew it we were the principal soloists at St Mary’s Cathedral. BONZA.
Many years, degrees, interstate moves, one marriage and two kids ( hers) performing awards ( various) and gigs later, we thought it might be a good idea to make this whole singing together thing official, so over a cup of tea we thought we’d give it a name. Sopranos in pajamas? Funny, but there’s NO way we are wearing pajamas onstage. Sopranos in Stilettos? Great, but what if they think we ONLY wear stilettos and, er, nothing else…maybe better to save it for a stage show name.( that’s our idea, get your big eyes off it.)
Sopranos on Stage. Boom.
So we set up a facebook page, booked our first gig and thought we’d get things rolling quietly, right? WRONG.
Before we knew it, we were booked to perform for Deborra-Lee Furness and Hugh Jackman at a red carpet event for their foundation, Adopt Change. Our logo was on the media wall, we wore jewellery loaned by Swarovski, and were accompanied by the incomparable Bradley Gilchrist on keys. We decided to play to our strengths with a short program of operatic faves, plus a piece from ‘ The Boy from Oz’ called ‘ Once before I Go.’
The evening was wonderful, a swirl of famous faces, sparkling champagne, the flash of the cameras and then, the moment before we walked onstage. The rush of adrenaline came, we focused, and we walked up there like we were born for it. I’ve never felt so focused or calm onstage. My favourite moments onstage were perhaps during my Carmen, feeling totally at ease in the character whilst having fun flirting with various people in the audience, and during ‘ Once Before I Go’. Whitney is particularly gifted at musical theatre, and we communicate well onstage so I was very happy that we were singing that particular song together! I had to concentrate to make sure I didn’t look at Hugh Jackman – just a little intimidating.
One little moment I’d like to share. As Whitney and I sat side of stage, in happy companionship, occasionally passing each other a strawberry or pointing out the goings on, we both had a tremendous sense of feeling at home. It was one of the lovliest moments of our friendship.
The rest of the evening is, I’m sorry to tell you, under Chatham house rules so I can’t spill any stories. What I can tell you, however, is that it was tremendous, and whilst we now have some lovely gigs lined up, I think we’ll hold this gig as a special one in our hearts for years to come.
Co- founder, Sopranos on Stage.
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