My father lectures in classical music at the Centre for Continuing Education in and around Sydney. My father’s also an insomniac, like me, so often as an eight-year old, I would be desperately trying to get to sleep, and I would drift down the stairs and there would be Wagner at full blast. Like me, he does all of his work the night before, in a burst of genius. So, I grew up listening to an enormous amount of classical music.
My mother has sung in choirs her whole life, so she would always be practising for the Sydney Philharmonia, sitting at our little piano. And my father trained to be an opera singer – he’s got a beautiful light baritone. There’d be lieder around the house.
Virginia Gay as Calamity Jane. Photo © Marnya Rothe
My father would often say he loves the three Bs – but not the three Bs that everybody expects, not Beethoven, Brahms...