On the Couch with Sarah Prestwidge

Sarah Prestwidge AAR On the CouchWho is Sarah Prestwidge?
I am a proud Australian First Nation’s Operatic Soprano and Music educator from rural NSW. I attended Sydney Conservatorium of Music, attaining a Bachelor of Music (Education and classical Voice), and then moved to the United Kingdom during the pandemic to complete a Master of Music (Opera) at the Royal Northern College of Music. I’m currently living in London where I have been a Young Artist at National Opera Studio Diverse Voices Programme for the past year. When not singing, you’ll find me playing tourist in my new home.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would be a forensic scientist!… A little dark, I know, but I’ve always found it interesting. Secretly, I have a love of science and love a good criminal mystery.

Who inspires you and why?
There are so many people that inspire me – family, friends, mentors, Elders… however, I think my biggest inspiration was my high school music teacher Mr Maë. He gave me the gift of Music, my passion for teaching, and my love for Opera. I honestly would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for his passion and guidance.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
As a music educator I have always been an advocate for quality music education especially for First Nations and disadvantaged communities. I want to inspire and pave the way for the next generation of musicians to pursue their dreams.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love to travel, so any new destination excites me. The first place I went overseas, and a forever favourite is Puglia, in Italy. However, I love Lake Conjola on the South Coast of NSW. I spent nearly every holiday there growing up, so it hold a special place in my heart.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?

Well, now that I live in London, I love turning full tour guide when my friends and family come to visit. My usual route it to walk people down to St Paul’s Cathedral, across the Millennium Bridge, past the Globe Theatre and down to Borough Markets for some Paella and back home via London Bridge – of course, telling the story of how it burnt down!

What are you currently reading?
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

What are you currently listening to?
I am currently learning a few different roles in La Rondine by Puccini, so that is usually in my ears to and from rehearsals. However, I also love podcasts – The Diary of a CEO is really interesting!

Happiness is?
Happiness is sitting in the sunshine, with a hot cup of tea and my dog, Lucy (Australian Kelpie), snuggled up next to me.

What does the future hold for you?
Lots of fabulous music making! I am about to perform the title role of Parrwang in Parrwang Lifts The Sky with Victorian Opera, and will be returning to sing Yvette/Georgette and cover Lisette in La Rondine later this year. Then I’ll return to London to perform Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro. There are a few other exciting things on the cards that I can’t share just yet, so watch this space!

Sarah stars as Parrwang in Victorian Opera’s presentation of Parrwang Lifts The Sky by Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO – which will be presented in the Merlyn Theatre – Malthouse Theatre from 10 – 18 May 2024. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.

Image: Sarah Prestwidge (supplied)