On the Couch with Alexander Sefton

Alexander-Sefton-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Alexander Sefton?
Opera Singer (Young Artist with Opera Australia!), Food Enthusiast, Overly-Emotional Artistic Type.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Consume less, Create more.

Who inspires you and why?
The great singers of the past through their recordings. My parents for the love and freedom they’ve offered me despite the challenges they’ve faced. Philosophers and Mystics: they may not actually solve any problems but they certainly give me something different to think about for a day, which is a welcome relief and keeps me moving.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Small gestures of loving kindness always make a difference. I’m not sure I could ever make much more of a difference in the world than that, though I am very interested in how art can evolve to continue to be as impactful as possible as our global society continues to intertwine; our possible audience increases and diversifies as AI begins to encroach on what has long been sacred ground.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Somewhere new where I can plan the day around what we’re going to eat. Of all the myriad ways the universe iterates, experiments, and evolves, I think the world’s food culture is the tastiest.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
The Sydney Opera House! Sitting at Bennelong Point, looking up at the House, and watching the sun set behind the bridge is as Sydney as it gets; have a drink and something to eat then head up the steps and learn (or be reminded) why Opera can be such a uniquely moving, transformative art form.

What are you currently reading?
I always have a few things on the go at once. At the moment it’s Sci-fi heavy with Neuromancer and The Foundation series; paired nicely with Homo Deus. I’m also enjoying the graphic novel adaption of The Ring Cycle by P. Craig Russel, alongside Wagner and Philosophy with a side of Satre’s Nausea.

What are you currently listening to?
When there isn’t sound happening in life I’m either meditating or mindlessly humming and drumming on things. Music-wise I’m enjoying the new Gang of Youths’, rediscovering the Köln Concert, endlessly playing Lo-fi in the background as well as, of course, all the Operatic Music I’m currently learning and all the great singers who inspire me to keep pushing. As I travel and commute regularly I also listen to a multiplicity of podcasts and audiobooks, mostly science, music, psychology, philosophy, history and anything of the genre ‘over-produced, lefty, long-form reporting’.

Happiness is?
A dangerous thing to chase for ourselves and the planet. It’s usually found in the simple fulfilment of our basic needs if we can be grateful and attentive. Also my amazing wife and dogs.

What does the future hold for you?
Most immediately I’m excited to be singing Baron Douphol in La Traviata in July and very excited to be involved with Opera Australia’s inaugural season on Cockatoo Island later this year, singing Escamillo in Carmen! The uncertainty we’re all living with at the moment can make traditional planning difficult, especially in our industry. Nonetheless I’m excited to keep exploring performance and my voice for as long as I possibly can, wherever that takes me. I also dream of finding some land somewhere commutable to Sydney and developing it with my family… but at this stage, I might have to settle with taking it by force from the band of mutants holed up there in 2050.

Alexander can be currently seen as Baron Douphol in La Traviata, and later this year as Escamillo in Carmen on Cockatoo Island. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details

Image: Alexander Sefton (supplied)