Australian operatic soprano, and granddaughter of legendary cricketer Don Bradman, Greta grew up listening to classical music. Counting Luzzasco Luzzaschi and Hildegard von Bingen as her biggest inspirations she also admires the depth of Indian classical music. She reveals why her album My Hero, is a hit and how Zubin Mehta remains the greatest ever maestro.
I’ve wanted to sing opera and classical music since I was a little girl. I’ve always loved singing and have been inclined to sing pretty much whenever I’m awake—either under my breath or out loud! When I finished school, for a while, I thought I should pursue a career in the sciences. I still love research and science, but ultimately the pull of singing was undeniable! My family listened to a lot of opera and classical music and my grandfather Don was especially fond of music that included the female voice.
My favourite role in many ways (it’s probably my favourite role to sing at this point!) is Leonora from Verdi’s Il Trovatore. I love the nobility, courage and passion of Leonora; I love the characters and how they are brought out musically—most of all it has some of the most exciting and moving music both from the orchestra and vocal lines. However, another favourite would have to be Handel’s Rodelinda, for its level of nuance and variety and because it was the first opera I did with Richard Bonynge.
Both Mehta and Bonynge are legendary within their respective repertory. They have such depth of experience and musical wisdom. Whilst they are very different in their conducting style they both have this extraordinary capacity to bring out the essence, the emotion and a level of nuance from the music, which is just incredible. This time, with Mehta, it will remain one of the most precious moments of music of my life, in the same category as the time I spent with Bonynge prior to recording with him and the English Chamber Orchestra.