On the Couch with Agnes Sarkis

Agnes Sarkis Arts Review On the CouchWho is Agnes Sarkis?
I am an Iranian Mezzo Soprano born to an Armenian family. I had the privilege of being a part of Opera Australia Chorus for 4 years before becoming a principal artist with Opera Australia. I love riding my motorcycle around the city and sometimes going on a short road trip!

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I have always sung, but in Iran, as a woman, you can’t really become an opera singer. So I studied civil engineering as my career choice, but I was lucky enough to come to Australia and make my opera singing dream a reality.

Who inspires you and why?
Musically, my first inspiration would be my parents who bought me a piano at the age of 5 and they encouraged me to practice every day. The audience and the positive energy and vibes I get from them during and after the shows. It’s all because they want to see me at my best so I want to be the best version of myself for them.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Well, I was privileged to be part of the Opera Australia Regional Tour, which brings opera to rural areas of Australia, to Australians who would usually be unable to access the opera. This would be the difference I would make to give everybody the opportunity to experience opera in their lifetime.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
My hometown Sari in Iran, to visit my parents, family and friends. Although I have called Sydney home for the past 8 years, I always enjoy going back for a holiday.

When friends come to town what attraction would you take them to and why?
I would bring them to our beautiful harbour and partake in a bridge climb at sunset. The most stunning view in Sydney.

What are you currently reading?
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I’m really looking forward to reading her latest book, The sun and her flowers. I really appreciate her honesty in words and love her poetry style.

What are you currently listening to?
I do tend to listen to Persian music a lot and at times I reach for the CD’s and DVD’s of my late singing teacher Mohammad Nouri.

Happiness is…?
A big feast surrounded by friends and family.

What does the future hold for you?
I will be performing one of my dream roles, Suzuki, in Madama Butterfly at the Capitol Theatre in the upcoming Opera Australia production.

In addition to appearing in Opera Australia’s production of Madama Butterfly, Agnes can also be seen as Mercedes in John Bell’s Carmen at the Sydney Opera House in February 2018. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Agnes Sarkis (supplied)