On the Couch with Jessica Pratt

Jessica Pratt in New York © Marco GMS PhotographyWho is Jessica Pratt?
An Australian Opera singer who lives on the road, traveling around the world all year round. A lover of nature and avid book reader.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Have control over my chocolate addiction.

Who inspires you and why?
My dogs, they keep going no matter what, they can have a broken leg but they still want to go out for a run and love life to the full.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think that the arts are extremely important today as we live in a world in which individuals become more connected but more isolated everyday. When people come to a live show they get to experience something as a group, it fosters a sense of community and empathy and I think that is a small way that we as artists can make a difference in the world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
At home in the Italian countryside just outside of Florence with my fiancé and our menagerie of animals, I spend about 11 months of the year on the road so the most luxurious thing for me is to sleep in my own bed, have a full wardrobe of clothes and be surrounded by my things. Holiday for me means rearranging the furniture, working in the garden, sorting my cupboard and experimenting in the kitchen, getting a coffee in the local coffee shop and feeling a part of my local community even if just for a few days.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I think probably the architectural highlights: The Sydney Opera House in Sydney and the Cathedral of Florence in Italy.

What are you currently reading?
The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory, part of the Plantagenet and Tudor novels, I’ll be performing the role Elisabetta nel Castello di Kenilworth for the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo, so I’m enjoying reading a lot about Queen Elizabeth I at the moment.

What are you currently listening to?
Neapolitan traditional songs, mainly Lina Sastri. My fiancé is from Naples in Italy and I want to learn some songs in Napolitan, he thinks I couldn’t possibly master their particular accent and I intend to prove him wrong!

Happiness is?
Making my nieces laugh, spending time amongst the olive trees at home with my dogs and cats.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m getting married next month in Tuscany in a beautiful Villa where A Room With A View was filmed. There will be much more travelling and singing including a solo recital at La Scala in Milan in 2019, and I eventually hope to retire to our villa in Tuscany, making olive oil and wine and running an Italian opera school in my old age!

Jessica stars in the titular role in Opera Australia’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at the Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House: 28 June – 27 July 2018. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Jessica Pratt – photo by © Marco GMS Photography