Opera is for a lifetime, not just a minute.
I knew that I could be more creative onstage, to state my own case and deliver my own interpretation of the role much more aggressively than in the recording studio.
When I perform Strauss, it is as if the music fits me like a glove. My voice seems to lie in a happy area in this music, which is lyrical and passionate at the same time.
I'm completely in charge of my own life now. Sometimes there's no one there to slap me on the hand and say: 'Stop being so bullish and bossy,' and things like that.
My energy is undiminished. Someone said to me the other day, 'Are you retired?' and I said, 'Well, I'm just trying to prove that I'm not.' There's so many things to do.
That's been my sort of aim in life, to never miss an opportunity.
The word 'no' is a very good word in a singer's repertoire.
I'm more confident now than I've ever been. As you get older, you have to be.
I never had the influence of any other singer in my music, so I sounded like myself all the time.
I grew up in the New Zealand countryside. We didn't have television until I was 14, so sing-alongs were our only entertainment.
When I'm alone at home, I really prefer to listen to Wagner's orchestral music rather than any vocal music. I find it illuminating not to have to pay attention to voices in the recordings.
I felt that the studio recording process makes you stand still too long.
My children are my children. There's no doubt about that at all. They're very strong towards me, very protective, and I towards them. It works both ways.
I really believe I've been a good person. Not perfect - forget about perfect - but just learning by what I was taught and living by my own values. I might have stepped on a few ants - and a few other things as well - but I've never hurt anybody.
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