On the Couch with Helen Sherman

Helen Sherman AAR On the CouchWho is Helen Sherman?
I’m an opera singer, a wife and mother to a three-year-old. I grew up on a lettuce farm in Bathurst, NSW. My studies took me to Sydney then to the UK where I lived for fifteen years; there, I met my husband (and The Queen!) and spent two years of the pandemic. I’ve since moved back to Sydney. I love to swim in the sea and to eat Ritter Sport (mint).

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Politics or landscape gardening.

Who inspires you and why?
My daughter; seeing the world through the eyes of a three-year-old is both sobering and affirming; she has more courage and steeliness in her little finger than I do in my whole body; I will do everything in my power to ensure that she holds on to both of those attributes as she grows.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
There are so many wrongs in the world right now, it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed by it. I think focusing on being kind to ourselves, kind to others, and speaking up for injustice is a good start. If I could change the way politics works and the way (most) politicians behave, then I would do that, too.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Paris. Grime and elegance juxtaposed; there’s just something very human about it. The food. The pastries. The art. Champagne and hot chips on the roof of The Centre Pompidou at sunset with the Eiffel Tower light show in view is really something special.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A ferry ride to Cremorne Point, a walk in the reserve to Robertsons Point Lookout, then a wander back to Cremorne Reserve for a picnic.

What are you currently reading?
The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk.

What are you currently listening to?
APRA award winning, ARIA award nominated Aussie children’s band, Tiptoe Giants (on repeat!); my three-year-old daughter is obsessed! If you have kids, you won’t regret adding it to your play list for car journeys – these are really beautifully written, fun, thoughtful songs.

Happiness is?
Whatever makes your heart sing!

What does the future hold for you?
Lots of beautiful music. I’m currently rehearsing Il Trittico and Cosi fan tutte for Opera Australia and later in the year I’ll perform in a production of Julius Caesar for Pinchgut Opera.

Helen stars as the Mistress of Novices in Opera Australia’s production of Puccini’s Il Trittico – which will be presented in the Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House from 3 – 19 July 2024. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Helen Sherman (supplied)