Soprano Natalie Christie Peluso is the latest to step into Hanna’s shoes for Graeme Murphy’s art-deco fabulous production of The Merry Widow , soon to open at Opera Queensland. Here she talks about playing a young Hanna, the challenges of operetta, and putting on a show a là Liza Minelli.

Natalie Christie Peluso as Hanna. Photo: supplied

Have you been in the audience for Graeme Murphy’s The Merry Widowprevious to rehearsals?

I haven’t had the privilege yet! Obviously I’ve seen lots of photos and videos and I’ve tried on the costumes already. It looks absolutely spectacular and I can’t wait to be involved. But no, I haven’t had a chance to see it, which is a good thing I think. There’s a desire to come in fresh and do my research on the character and the music and the world of Hanna and Danilo. Really make it my own.

This production calls for a younger Hanna and Danilo than we’re perhaps used to seeing. How does the youth of Hanna shape the way you play her?  

I think she’s supposed to be this young anyway. I think the word ‘widow’ in the title makes...