Australian soprano Greta Bradman has a schedule that is tiring just to read! As well as opera performance commitments, a recording contract with Decca and a regular spot on ABC radio, this powerhouse has degrees in psychology and linguistics, a position on the faculty of The School of Life, and a young family.
Despite all of this, she kindly took some time out to chat to Glam.
In her career, Bradman has sung many of the great, soprano roles, including both the Countess and Suzanna, in Marriage of Figaro. But we wondered if she has a favourite? Her response was unequivocal:
Oh Verdi, Il Trovatore, Leonora. Love it! Love, love love! [As an opera performer] you end up being led by a convergence of your temperament and your voice towards particular roles. Verdi totally draws me in. I love the range, and the fearlessness of his writing for the voice. He really calls for a singer to engage the full expanse of their range and doesn’t compromise. Composers like Verdi can teach us so much, not just about singing, but about our individual capabilities.
Despite many opera singers crossing over into musical theatre and back again, Bradman is clearly focussed on classical works, and has a passion for opera which shines through.
I’ve not done any musicals, and intentionally so. I’ve really wanted to hone my voice and spend as much time as possible on repertoire that enables me to do that. But I have sung songs from shows and I absolutely love it. I’ve not ignored that area, but in terms of stage shows I’ve made the decision [to keep to the opera canon].
Bradman’s ability to cross genres will be well on display when she tours in November with the hugely popular From Broadway to La Scala, which is reprising after a sell-out season in 2015.
Teaming up with baritone, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, tenor David Hobson and musical singer Lisa McCune, Bradman will be bringing some of the most popular show tunes and operatic arias to a broader audience, in a spectacular night of fun.
The great thing about this show is that it really does mix it up! Lisa McCune comes and joins me for a little bit of an opera moment. We’re doing all sorts of things like Sound of Music, some Lloyd-Webber, and I’ll be doing Song to the Moon, which I just love, and bringing a little bit of water-sprite energy to the stage. It’s just going to be a really, fun night.
Bradman’s new album is being released on April 20th next year and was recorded with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and Adelaide Chamber Singers, with whom she sang throughout her university days.
The album is called Home and it’s very close to my heart. It’s all songs, rather than opera arias: songs that I grew up with by Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Rimsky-Korsakov, Copeland and even some folk songs. Once that is released I’ll be touring it through June and July.
Also next year she will be touring with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and performing in two operas. I needed a lie down just hearing about it!
What drives this energetic diva?
In the way that I live my life and the choices that I make, I try to live in line with my own sense of, when I’m 80, what will I look back on and feel good about.
From her life and work so far, it would seem Greta Bradman will have a hell of lot to feel good about!
From Broadway to La Scala plays at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the 24th and 25th November.
Official site: http://frombroadwaytolascala.com.au/
Tickets available here: http://bass.net.au/events/from-broadway-to-la-scala/
Interviewed by Tracey Korsten