On the Couch with Julie Lea Goodwin

Julie Lea Goodwin Arts Review On the CouchWho is Julie Lea Goodwin?
I’m an independent woman who spends her days singing opera! I love my work as it’s constantly changing, surprising, stressful and many other things. At the moment, I’m a Principal Soprano with Opera Australia and also freelance with other concerts and events. In my spare time I like to relax with walks around Sydney’s beautiful parks and ocean tracks, Pilates, cuddles with my Hungarian Vizsla and checking out some fine restaurants around town.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Every choice I’ve made, mistake I’ve made, experience I’ve had and opportunity I’ve grabbed has made me who I am today and ultimately led me to where I am now. I’m quite fatalistic in my reasoning as to why some things in life work out the way they do and that helps me not stress about things I can’t control. One thing that I’ve been aware of doing differently is really appreciating all the wonderful people and unique and special experiences I have and not taking them for granted as I did in my early 20s.

Who inspires you and why?
Strong, independent, respectful, supportive and beautiful women who embrace themselves for who they are, and embrace those around them for their wonderful individuality.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Wow, there are some mammoth issues in the world that I’m not equipped to tackle. But, I do believe that if everyone made small positive actions everyday it would make a huge difference. I try to recycle properly, be consumer ethically aware, and compliment a stranger. That last one might seem funny (or creepy) but I remember feeling tired and low one day and a complete stranger said something lovely to me, which really lifted my spirits. You just don’t know what others are facing in life and being respectful and nice is free! As Ellen DeGeneres says “be kind to one another”.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I honestly think that what makes a trip special is the company you keep. I had a fabulous couple of months in Italy with my sister, which was really special. I adore visiting parts of Europe in general as I just love the history, the architecture and the food. Budapest is another beautiful city worth a visit…“the Paris of the east” (without the same price tag!).

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Definitely Circular Quay, the Rocks and the Sydney Opera House. It’s one of the most iconic areas, plus it’s where I spend much of my time performing. At least one of our spectacular beaches is a must! I’d most likely choose a ferry ride to Manly or the Coogee to Bondi walk with a swim. My grandfather’s house usually makes the list as well because it’s big enough to fit everyone and has gorgeous views of the Port Hacking River.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve never been a big reader so you’ll usually find me reading the subtitles of foreign films (haha!), sheet music or online blogs and articles. My last book was The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which I enjoyed, and I’ve just started Rogue Lawyer by Josh Grisham.

What are you currently listening to?
Random Spotify playlists. I love them! You just search for what mood you’re in and away you go. Of course I’m always listening to recordings of arias or operas that I’m learning as well. It helps me memorise and find inspiration.

Happiness is?
Feeling content and healthy. It’s not a bad thing to strive to want more but it’s also important to appreciate what you have right now and be thankful for it.

What does the future hold for you?
Long term I don’t know and that’s okay. I find that work and indeed life is a bit like the ocean and you just have to ride the waves. My work has been busy and exciting and hopefully I’ll have even more challenging roles to perform in the future. I’m about to start a new production of Two Weddings, One Bride this month, which I’ll be starring in and there’s a new production of The Merry Widow later this year as well, both of which I’m really looking forward to. I have a birthday holiday planned to travel around France and Spain with my sister and I’m getting pretty excited for that trip! There’s also the Bravo cruise around New Caledonia, which promises to be a pretty awesome “work” engagement.

Based on a story by Charles Lecocq, and featuring all of your favourite operetta waltzes, polkas and songs by Strauss, Offenbach, Lehár and Kálmán, Opera Australia presents Two Weddings, One Bride, a brand new operetta created by Robert Greene, in the Playhouse – Sydney Opera House: 29 April – 22 October 2017. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Julie Lea Goodwin (supplied)