Jet lag and a two-year-old child aren’t an ideal combination for an opera singer who has just one day to recover from the flight from Europe to Australia. But Nicole Car seems to be handling it remarkably well.

“We were lucky this time. On the second flight, Noah slept a good seven-and-a-half hours so even if you don’t sleep all the time at least you get some downtime,” says the much-loved Australian soprano, looking bright-eyed, alert and relaxed.

“Nicole is an iron woman,” says her husband, French-Canadian baritone Etienne Dupuis, admiringly. “I call her Wonder Woman. If she sleeps five or six hours in a row it’s like she’s had a full night’s sleep. Even if she gets just three or four hours sleep she’s really functional. Seven hours and a half, she’s like ‘I can land this plane!’”

Nicole Car and Etienne Dupuis. Photograph © Yan Bleney

Car and Dupuis are chatting to Limelight at their serviced apartment in Sydney, in a brief window before Car’s next rehearsal call for Peter Grimes, which she is singing in concert for Sydney Symphony Orchestra (on July 25 and 27 ) with Stuart Skelton as the...