Salome is a tricky ask for the soprano, requiring a big voice to get over the orchestra, but considerable delicacy as well. Did you always hope to sing the role, how long did wait, and how did you decide you were ready?

I never exactly imagined I would sing Salome, it was just not something on my radar until I started singing so much Strauss. Strangely enough, it was one of the first operas I saw live as a student and I still remember the opening chords, and the otherworldly quality of the score. Like many other roles in my repertoire, it just happened to be the right combination of an offer, the right timing, and having the guts, or insanity, to tackle it.

Emily Magee, Salome, Strauss Soprano Emily Magee. Photo © Johannes Ifkovits

Your interpretation seems to perfectly balance strength with lyricism. Did you come to it with any Salome role models?

I always came to Salome with the idea of her being sung beautifully, although it is difficult to do so. I do think she needs a heroic voice behind the beauty, but more than that I find the role extremely vocally colourful, so...