Monday, July 18, 2011

Diva From Down Under Once Wanted to Be Mariah Carey

"Amelia Farrugia is humming The Merry Widow Waltz as she (there’s no other word for it) waltzes around a dressing room beneath the soaring sails of the Sydney Opera House. Dressed in a figure-hugging black silk gown, black fur and carrying an enormous feathered fan, she looks every inch the opera diva about to take the lead opposite David Hobson in Opera Australia’s The Merry Widow. So it comes as a surprise when the Mosman mother-of-one says she nearly ended up in the gown and wig of a barrister instead of an opera star. 'I got into law at the University of Sydney and intended doing that, and it was Dad’s idea that I pursue singing instead,' she says. As a 16-year-old, the only musical member of a 'not really musical' family, she had been decidedly nonplussed when her teacher told her that her voice was more suited to the classical repertoire than that of a pop star. 'I was a bit ‘oh’, because at that stage you want to be Mariah Carey,' she says. 'But when I was in high school, a teacher played 'Summertime' from (Gershwin’s opera) Porgy and Bess and I loved it. I remember thinking ‘God if I could sing like that’.' Opera might seem like a fait accompli for the vocally-blessed Farrugia, but if you’re one of the many who would like to ‘know’ opera and throw around words like 'libretto' and 'contralto' without blushing, how do you learn to love what many consider to be the most refined art form?" [Source]

Watch a clip of Amelia as Musetta in La Bohème after the jump.

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