PerformerUpClose: Prudence Sanders

Prudence Sanders, Soprano
OperaUpClose performer credits include: Musetta La Boheme, Adina The Elixir of Love, and Violetta La Traviata.

This interview was taken in September 2013.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
The night before and then the first day of rehearsals - there's such a great sense of anticipation. I also really love the collaboration between directors, fellow cast members, conductors, musicians etc during the rehearsal period. 

And your least favourite?
Sitting at the piano and learning a difficult role when vocally you are not at your best. It's a real challenge and a tough thing to work your way through the technical problems and find your motivation again, especially if you are repeating the same phrase over and over again, trying to get it right. I have very understanding neighbours...

How did you get into theatre/opera?
I started music and theatre from quite a young age, and I was lucky to have a wonderful department at school with some very inspiring teachers, so it grew from there really. Apparently my great great grandmother was a French cabaret singer, so I'd like to think an element of the theatrical stemmed from her!

What is the best / most exciting/ inspiring theatre production you’ve ever seen?
That's a tough one...it's an even pick between ENO's production of Peter Grimes back in 2009 or Don Carlos this year at Covent Garden. Grimes because of the superb energy and hair raising chorus, and Don Carlos down to Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Hartenos - some seriously sublime singing.

What is your dream role?
I'm not sure there is one particular role, but high on the shortlist is Anne Truelove and maybe one day, Ellen Orford. Violetta is also there, but soon I can say that I've sung it! the great thing about opera is that you can revisit your favourite roles more than once, and often, whatever you are singing at the moment will be your favourite. It changes all the time.

What is the most embarrassing / funniest thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I've fallen down flights of stairs on stage, ripped off my skirt by accident and been dropped by people, but the most embarrassing was when I was quite young and entered a singing competition. I made a mistake at the beginning of my song, and burst into tears . Instead of stopping, composing myself and then starting again, I spent the remaining 3.5 minutes unable to make a single sound but instead mouthing all the words with tears rolling down my face. Horrendous.