I would just like to say that opera is no longer about fat people in breastplates shattering wine glasses.
That was when I realised that music is the most profound, magical form of communication there is.
I do hope that our spring will be starting shortly and we will all be able to enjoy some sunshine again.
I don't just come from a musical family, but from a musical community.
I'm very pro presenting the best music I can to the widest audience possible.
Nobody inspired me more than Julie Andrews, who is a classically trained soprano herself.
One of the problems that we face through the media attention that these artists receive is that there has been an awful lot of talk about opera and classical music being elite and being for an elitist group.
Opera is credible drama now, and it costs less than going to a football match. What have you got to lose?
The musical heritage of Yorkshire is deep and wide.
What people really should be able to be confident in is that the standards of music- making that classically trained musicians present is elite, it is the best and all of us as artists should be committed to that.
There are a lot of unseen elements to having a successful singing career.
To tell you the truth, I never listen to opera at home.
I'm engaging my diaphragm as I'm speaking to you right now.
It worries me that young singers think you can shortcut the training and go straight to fame and fortune, and programmes like Pop Idol have encouraged that.
I do a lot of vocal hygiene.
I also have to support my speaking voice by sitting in a way that engages the diaphragm in the way I would for singing.
Singing is an arduous business and it needs sacrifices.
I don't think I have ever met a single person who isn't moved by music of some kind.
As far as I was concerned the important thing was that the music was getting the attention as well as me so it was always a great way to get more of the public to connect with classical music, and opera particularly.
I performed in Sydney some years ago for the Sydney Festival and I am just so pleased to be returning to the wonderful Sydney Opera House and also performing in Melbourne for the first time.
I saw The Sound of Music when I was 10 and thought that it was the most beautiful singing I had ever heard.
Music is there to access those dark emotional corners that we don't normally get too close to.
And woven into the fabric of this harsh existence was music.
My mum used to say to me, 'Spit on yer 'ands and take a fresh 'old.' Keep going even if you have setbacks.
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