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Get to know soprano Lauren Fagan before she makes her State Opera (and national) debut as Violetta in La Traviata.

When did you first fall in love with opera?

I wasn’t actually exposed to opera until my final years of school. However my “This is was what I want to do with my life” moment was when I sang my first staged role as Lia in Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama: the adrenalin performing such beautiful music with orchestra was unlike anything I’d felt before.

This is your State Opera South Australia (and home-soil) debut. Are you excited to come to Adelaide?

I am beyond excited to sing Violetta on home soil. I have so many friends and family members flying over who have never seen me sing an operatic role before and I am also hoping include a visit a winery or two if time permits!

What draws you to the character of Violetta?

Violetta is an incredibly complex character to sing and Verdi’s writing provides the perfect musical landscape to express both her strength and vulnerability. I am very excited to explore singing Violetta in a new production with a great group of colleagues.

What will challenge you in this role?

Verdi’s score for Violetta is itself incredibly challenging for my voice, particularly the coloratura in Act 1. I know I have to practice and prepare the music very well, so I will be able to fully emotionally commit to the drama. Once you begin to get involved in the emotional journey of La traviata this also takes a big toll on a singer’s voice – finding the right balance between technique and emotion, as well as pacing this role is crucial.

What was your first “I’ve made it” moment?

Definitely jumping in as Giannetta in Covent Garden’s L’elisir d’amore… it was the most surreal moment of my life to be singing to a packed auditorium with the chorus looking up at me and urging me on (and also singing opposite Bryn Terfel!)

What is your dream role?

Tatyana, Butterfly, Desdemona, Arabella and The Marschallin to name a few!

What is something about you that may surprise our audience to know?

My background prior to singing was very much sports-based. I was the Sports Captain and Athletics Captain so no one from school would have guessed I would go onto be an Opera Singer.

What excites you outside of Opera?

I love to be with my family and our beautiful golden retrievers. Travelling to new cities and discovering new cultures and cuisines is a definite perk of the job!