On the Couch with Naomi Johns

Naomi-Johns-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Naomi Johns?
Naomi Johns is just a regular Aussie soprano juggling family life, artistic endeavours and the world that is unfolding.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’m pretty content with where my life is at presently. There are some fun endeavours on the horizon. But if we’re talking a major career change then I’d probably work in creative direction and aesthetic design in some capacity. I love collaborating with multidisciplinary artists and I have a strong background in sales, visual merchandising and luxury retail so the business side of creative industries is very interesting to me.

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who practises what they preach and lives with integrity. I’m lucky to have some amazing examples of friends like this in real life. Opera Inspiration includes Beverly Sills for her ability to pivot after choosing to put her family first and Callas for the voice, the technique and commitment to the truth on stage.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
Honestly, the world is so vast that I can only hope to impact those around me in the hopes it raises the collective. Unless I get into politics which is pretty unlikely at this point.

Favourite holiday destination and why? 
Recently I was in Hvar, Croatia and it is the prettiest island ever. Actually, the whole of the Dalmatian coast really and Italy always feels like home… If it’s not Europe, I’d probably love to just spend some quality time with friends in the Blue Mountains in NSW or on family trips with friends in Denmark, WA.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why? 
Perth Beaches are the best in the world and I will die fighting on that hill! Also the view from Kings Park looking over the city at night is pretty stunning.

What are you currently reading? 
I’m currently getting through Brandon Sanderson The Way of Kings set, but I’m waiting on the next book to come out. I’m also in rehearsal, so when I’m not needed, I’m reading Dame Nelli Melba’s autobiography. It was gifted to me by a friend who sings and I’m finding it as fascinating. It really was “the tea” of that era.

What are you currently listening to?
As it’s school holidays, it’s my kid’s playlist… But I’m also rehearsing for Rusalka at the moment, so I’m fully immersed in Dvovák’s Czech landscape. When I have the mental space, I listen to a playlist that I created called “Big Girl Pants” that has a bunch of repertoire I’m looking at for the future.

Happiness is? 
Well, I’d say the quest for contentment is better than happiness. Someone to love, something to work on and something to look forward to so I’m very lucky that I have those boxes ticked at the moment.

What does the future hold for you?
My immediate future is playing The Duchess in West Australian Opera’s brand new production of Rusalka – which is playing at His Majesty’s Theatre in July. I’ve also got something I am very excited about for next year, which will take a decent amount of prep time. I’m working towards being “booked and blessed” a little more in the next few years.

Naomi stars as The Duchess in West Australian Opera’s highly-anticipated production of Rusalka – which plays at His Majesty’s Theatre Perth from 18 – 27 July 2024. For more information, visit: www.waopera.asn.au for details.

Image: Naomi Johns (supplied)