At about the age of 15, my sister and I joined the local Big Little Theatre Company, and I learnt to stand in front of an audience and perform. It was also where I started to use my voice. We would sing cabaret. Because of our mother, [a dance teacher], we had danced our whole lives — it was all very jazz hands. We performed in most of Bournemouth’s venues, and got paid £50 each for a gig.
It was through the company that I met my first singing teacher. Jon Andrew was the first person to hear something more classical in my voice. He got me singing Mozart, and I got the classical bug. There’s so much going on being a teenager, so much emotion, and opera gave me a channel for it.