Diva liv­ing the dream

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weeklylife - TANYA MACNAUGHTON

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d425960

Emma Pet­te­merides will play diva opera singer Car­lotta in The Phan­tom of the Opera.

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