Olivia Cranwell

Olivia Cranwell. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

An interview with Olivia Cranwell


Olivia Cranwell, Finalist in the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, shares some of the key moments along her singing journey and the role models, who propelled her forward on her career path as well as some of key attributes she has developed as a performer.

What inspired your passion for Opera?

I've been lucky to have very inspiring and wonderful teachers throughout my entire singing journey. I always loved to sing, but it wasn't until my year 11 singing teacher thought I had the potential to make it a career that I decided to explore opera and I'm so glad I did.

what inspired you to start singing? 

Apparently when I was very little my mother said I would pick up nursery rhymes exceptionally quickly and content myself singing them around the place. I honestly can't remember a time that I wasn't singing something or somewhere.

Who inspires you and why? 

So many people. However, I come from a long line of exceptionally strong women in my family and they have taught me the importance of discipline, resilience, hard work, compassion and most importantly bravery in everything I set my mind to.

Tell us a little bit about one of the pieces you performed at the Semi-Final and why you chose it

I sang Morro ma prima in grazia from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera. The character is submitting herself to her husband to be killed but requesting one final moment to see her son before she dies. This aria is 3 pages of music but conveys so spectacularly every nuance of emotion so completely and the music so perfectly sets the text and creates the character.

Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?

My all time favourite singer is Maria Callas. She depicts the emotional bravery that I aspire to in her singing, however, Monserrat Caballe would be my favourite voice and interpreter of the music.

What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?

Work hard and be patient.

What are you hoping to achieve next?

I would love to begin to tackle some of the bigger roles in the operatic repertoire. My dream is to one day sing a Tosca.

How did you discover your operatic voice?

My year 11 teacher identified that I had the 'vocal chops' to make a career in opera.

What do you do when you’re not singing?

I try to live a balanced life but I honestly love music and opera and I get great enjoyment from being immersed in music. Otherwise I'm quite partial to travelling and spending time with my family and friends.

Do the neighbours complain when you practice?

They don't complain so much as stand out in the street listening. I have had some very patient neighbours!!!