PerformerUpClose: Becca Marriot

Becca Marriot, Lyric Soprano
OperaUpClose credits include: Amelia Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca Tosca

 The interview below was taken in May 2013. 

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Discovering the ins and outs of different characters really excites me. I also love debating their psychological states with anyone who will listen; this is usually my mother and usually includes a lot of red wine. I also love the moment when the notes seem to have found their way into my body and just fly out without me having to concern myself with shoving them out.  

And your least favourite?
I can't stand the thirty minutes before I am about to go on stage, or the whole day before I am about to go on stage when it's a press night. I cope with that by getting everyone around me to be nervous for me and by telling bad jokes.

How did you get into theatre/opera?
I have always wanted to be a performer of some sort but the route into opera was a bit skewed. I started singing aged 14. I love singing but I gave up aged 17 because I didn't feel I could ever get music 'right'. I did a lot of acting too and at University I was in a number of plays, Macbeth, Hedda Gabbler, The Cherry Orchard and The Guardians (a play about the war in Iraq by Peter Norris). Then I also started doing improvised comedy and musical theatre with a troupe in Oxford. This led to stand up comedy and more improvised comedy in London.  Then about 3 and a half years ago I was lucky enough to be asked to be a part of the extra chorus for Carl Rosa Opera's production of The Yeoman of the Guard at The Tower of London. Sitting in the Sitzprobe it was like I had come home. That was when I decided that opera was what I wanted to do with my life.  I started singing lessons and three teachers and numerous coaches later I was accepted onto the MMus course at Trinity Laban. Just before the course started I was offered the role of Tosca with OperaUpClose and the rest...is the future.

What is the best / most exciting/ inspiring theatre production you’ve ever seen?
Gosh!  What a question.  I am not sure that my first answer will be the right one but the one that comes to mind is a show called Lily Through the Dark which I saw at Edinburgh in 2010 (I think). This was a truly magical puppet show about a little girl who had lost her mother and was having nightmares. It was absolutely beautiful with amazing lights and costumes.  It was hugely sensitive about the child's grief as she tried to understand what was going on. There was also some great live music. I would love all theatre to have that sort of magic and wonder about it.

 What is your dream role?
Well, I think it was Tosca, but that ship has sailed so I have 3 that I would now love to do, in no particular order; 1) Magda The Consul 2)  Ellen Peter Grimes and 3) Violetta La Traviata. 

What is the most embarrassing / funniest thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Well, the soles of my shoes fell off in the middle of Ballo two nights ago which was...amusing.  But not the worst.  While in the middle of an improvised comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2009 I was in the middle of a scene that was getting particularly few laughs until I coughed and a very large bubble of snot came out of my nose.  I was mortified but the audience enjoyed it.