On the Couch with Prudence Sanders

Prudence-Sanders-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Prudence Sanders?
I’m a Perth raised soprano, who trained at WAAPA before heading over to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. After a decade of singing in the UK, I’m back as a principal artist with the West Australian Opera Company.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
We had a chat about this at the dinner table last night. Some landed on being an aeronautical engineer for NASA or a reconstructive surgeon. I’ll keep to opera singing, but travel more widely for my work and record a solo album with an orchestra.

Who inspires you and why?
My children, who see things through fresh eyes and minds. In everyday life, people who really go for what they want. Artistically, Jesse Norman every time she sings Strauss.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
If there were no limitations, then I’d equalise education for all children and provide access to well funded music programs for each school, starting from Kindergarten. Last year I was part of an outreach program which toured an adapted opera to 25 schools. Engaging with the kids in the audience was brilliant fun.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I googled “top holiday destinations” and fortunately my choice isn’t as trite as I thought (only number #19). Florence – I’ve got lots of lovely memories there.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Cottesloe beach (or for that matter, any beach in WA) first thing on a summer morning is pretty hard to top. At this time of year, Perth Fringe and Perth Festival make a trip into Northbridge and the Perth Cultural Precinct a must.

What are you currently reading?
Matilda, Witches, The Twits by Roald Dahl. According to my five year old, I do the best voices (which I secretly love doing). On my bookshelf I’ve still got a copy of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton to get to. If I make it to the Review section of The Australian each weekend then I’m doing well.

What are you currently listening to?
As self-important as it sounds, I’m listening to myself a fair bit – I’m preparing the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s opera Carmen. Part of my practice and role preparation includes recording a section and then listening back to it time and again so I can hear what needs work.

Happiness is?
Sleeping in.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m very excited about the start to 2023. Carmen will be mounted by West Australian Opera at the WACA as part of the Perth Festival, and following on from this, I’ll be switching things up vocally and joining the company as Rapunzel in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. It’s one of my favourite musicals and my 15 year old self would probably not believe it if I told her what was in store for her if she stuck it out.

Prudence stars as Micaëla in WA Opera’s production of Carmen – which will be presented at the WACA Ground, as part of the 2023 Perth Festival: 24 – 25 February. Prudence also stars as Rapunzel / Cinderella’s Mother in WA Opera’s production of Into The Woods at His Majesty’s Theatre: 23 March – 1 April. For more information, visit: www.waopera.asn.au for details.

Image: Prudence Sanders (supplied)