Carmen is a crowning role for a mezzo, but there are a lot of great performances out there already. What do you try to bring to this character?

Carmen is a role that everybody knows so well – the music, the character. It comes with a lot of expectations. I think part of the beauty is that everybody sees something of their own in it. I’m Israeli originally, so I am trying to bring something Mediterranean – a bit of hot weather into the role, something a little naughty.

What do you think of Carmen as a character? Does she have a heart?

Well, obviously I love her. Not only do I love her, but I learn from her. She can be bitchy, sexy, but on the other hand I also see her as young, funny, charming – she is full of charisma. Otherwise, I don’t think men would fall for her. If she was only pretty, only sexy or only a bitch, I don’t think that would make everybody adore her so much.

Have you sung in Australia before?

No I haven’t. But I have been longing for this because I am actually married to an Australian [violist Peter Bucknell]. I know Australia...