Diva living the dream
IT may have taken longer than she had hoped but Cottesloe soprano Emma Pettemerides is finally performing her dream role, diva Carlotta, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
After graduating from Presbyterian Ladies College, Pettemerides went straight to WAAPA before attending Sydney Conservatorium.
The English-born singer then returned to the UK to study at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music.
“Then I moved to London, working for opera companies and auditioned for Phantom on the West End but didn’t get it,” she said.
“When I came back to Perth two years ago, it came up that Ian Westrip was putting it on.
“Then I heard that Aldo Di Toro was singing Phantom and I’m such a huge fan, so auditioned and luckily got the part.”
Mark Barford is directing the acclaimed musical, which follows the story of a scarred composer who haunts the grand Paris Opera House and becomes obsessed with young soprano, Christine (played by Stephanie Gooch).
Carlotta is the prima donna of the opera company and Pettemerides said she enjoyed every moment in the role.
“She just has such a temper and really believes she deserves to be at the top,” she said.
“She doesn’t like anyone stomping on her territory. It’s such a fun role to perform where she’s just so flighty and melodramatic about everything.”
A fascination for Judy Garland led Pettemerides to start singing lessons at age 13, where she was supported during her PLC days by teacher Maribeth Williamson.
“Maribeth trained me classically and I wanted to do musical theatre but my voice was more suited to opera classical music,” she said.
“That’s why Carlotta is such a great part for me because I get to sing in an operatic way and musical theatre way in a musical. It ticks both boxes.”
Following The Phantom of the Opera season, Pettemerides, who also teaches at WAAPA and St Hilda’s Anglican Girls School, will be reunited with another mentor when she joins English soprano Mary Plazas for WA Opera’s Madam Butterfly during the Perth International Arts Festival.
The Phantom of the Opera season is supporting the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Any charity or fundraising group that wants to raise money for their special cause or project can pre-register with ICW Productions to receive a $10 donation per ticket they buy to the production. Call Robin on 0416 251 265.
Emma Pettemerides will play diva opera singer Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera.