On the Couch with Sarah Giles

VO-Sarah-Giles-photo-by-Pia-JohnsonWho is Sarah Giles?
She’s a theatre and opera director who spends vast quantities of time picking toys up off the floor of her terrace house in Fitzroy.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would love to work in animation and make cartoons. I’ve been obsessed with animation since I was little; I love the endless possibilities of what you can do with storytelling and humour.

Who inspires you and why?
People who are unrelenting in their pursuit of what they want to do and don’t get discouraged by the naysayers and the grumps. People who are fearless and brave in the face of failure.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Find a way to subsidise live performances so that anyone can buy an incredibly cheap ticket in order to get more people to live performances. Something like the 10 Euro standing ticket in Europe for example.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Somewhere in nature. Anywhere without technology. Somewhere with an abundance of silence and peace.

When friends come to town, what attractionwould you take them to, and why?
I’d be lucky to see them given I am in charge of two small children. I’d probably try to convince my friends that my “house” was an attraction so I could lure them to me and then I’d send them off into the night to have fun without me. Probably to an excellent pub. And then to a show.

What are you currently reading?
Rachel Cusk. She’s a genius and is teaching me a lot about listening.

What are you currently listening to?
The sound cues for my Melbourne Theatre Company show The Truth composed by Jethro Woodward. And tons of dinosaur songs – an album on high rotation in our home is Heavy Metal T-Rex – my 3-year-old loves it which doesn’t bode well for the future peace and silence of my home life.

Happiness is?
Not to be overrated. We spend far too much time thinking about it, pursuing it and discussing it. It can only be experienced in relation to other human emotions; it is simply one emotion in the whole spectrum of human emotions and experiences.

What does the future hold for you?
More opera. I adored making Lorelei with our team at Victorian Opera. The few operas I’ve been fortunate enough to work on have been immensely liberating and satisfying to make and I’m looking forward to making more. Later in the year I’m working on a new cabaret theatre show at the Malthouse with the one and only genius that is Ash Flanders, and I’m currently in tech rehearsals for a new show with Melbourne Theatre Company called The Truth by Florian Zeller.

Sarah is the Director of the award-winning work, Lorelei – which returns to Melbourne in an operatic-cabaret-revival at the Palais Theatre, St Kilda: 29 June – 2 July 2021. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.

Image: Sarah Giles – photo by Pia Johnson