It’s a gray January morning in the cold of Berlin’s coldest month. Mildura-born soprano Siobhan Stagg, who has lived in the German capital for almost a decade, is singing up a storm across Europe and preparing to fly home.
For the past year, Stagg’s work has included playing Violetta La traviata in Belfast and sang with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Simon Rattle, as well as playing Ravels Sheherazade with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich.
This extensive experience ensures that whenever Stagg returns to Australia, which she does most years, her performances are highly acclaimed. This month Stagg will return to Victoria following a performance with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. There she will perform French art songs with longtime collaborator, pianist Timothy Young, at the Melbourne Recital Center before singing Richard Strauss Four last Songs in the Melbourne Symphony’s season-opening gala, Zenith of Life, conducted by Jaime Martin, whom she has yet to meet.
As part of her new role as Soloist-in-Residence with the MSO, she will be giving a master class suitable for everyone, but offering a learning opportunity especially for young singers.
Growing up more than 500 kilometers northwest of Melbourne, however, Stagg didn’t have many opportunities to attend classical music venues. Instead, she staged concerts in the recreation room, “plastered way too much makeup” and hung bed sheets as stage curtains.
At the end of elementary school, Stagg began singing lessons, which included classical, but she lacked the “tapestry” to understand that her passion for music could be pursued professionally: she didn’t even know the word “soprano.” was where her voice landed in her high school choir.
Now wearing glasses and a warm zip-up vest as she packs her bags, Stagg recalls six-hour car journeys to Melbourne, where she tried to teach her teacher parents and two brothers-who would go on to be doctors, to sing in a round , in which each voice should start at a different point and fit together harmoniously.
“It wasn’t always successful,” she laughs. “They were ready, they were definitely open. My parents were the first generation in their families to go to university, so they were really passionate about education and we had the opportunity to do what interests us.”
https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/growing-up-siobhan-stagg-didn-t-even-know-the-word-soprano-now-she-s-one-of-our-most-promising-stars-20230215-p5ckqt.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Soprano Siobhan Stagg performs in Melbourne