The soprano shares her thoughts on the role she sang earlier this year with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Act II of Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Tristan and Isolde is now available on YouTube

At what point in your career did you first think you might sing the role of Isolde?

I worked with Birgit Nilsson early in my career. She was a mentor to me and I spent quite a lot of time with her. At that time I was singing lots of Mozart and she encouraged me to keep singing Mozart for as long as I could because her two favourite words were “healthy” and “youthful”. She said “I want to keep your voice healthy and youthful as there is plenty of time for Strauss and Wagner”, but we did work on Elsa and Elizabeth though I never performed them. I guess it was probably sometime in my 30s that I thought I would love to sing Isolde, so I started looking at it but I didn’t sing my first Isolde until 2000. I sang it in London with the BBC Symphony and Donald Runnicles, so I waited a while. I’m...