Meet the cast and creative teams behind Opera Holland Park’s 2022 Season. Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce our singers, directors, conductors and crews at the heart of the productions this summer.
This week, we meet Elizabeth Karani, who is playing the role of Amy in Little Women this season. Elizabeth is a graduate of our Young Artists Scheme. She made her debut as Musetta in the Young Artists Performance La bohème in 2016 before going on to play Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro in 2021. In today’s interview, she discusses returning to the stage after the birth of her son, the challenge of taking on the journey of her character, and her love of musical theatre.
Could you introduce us to your role?
I will be playing the role of Amy, the youngest March sister in Little Women. She’s sometimes the most disliked of the sisters because she’s seen as young, selfish and naive, but she goes on a real journey to become a strong woman who takes on the unselfish duty of marrying well for the sake of her family. It is only a happy coincidence that she ends up with the man she loves as well!
What aspects of your role are you most excited about?
I’m really looking forward to going on this journey with Amy. She doesn’t have a huge amount of time to convince the audience she’s a nice and likeable character so I’m looking forward to that challenge.
What is something surprising about your job that audience members may not know?
That we actually know what we’re saying. Some people always seem shocked to know that we’ve translated the words. Perhaps that says something about my acting skills!
Do you have a favourite OHP Memory?
I have so many great memories! From debuting as Musetta in OHP’s Young Artists Programme to the opening night of Figaro as a fully-fledged pro, after a year away from the stage due to covid cancellations.
Who is your musical role model?
I love Diana Damrau. She is so detailed in her expression and her use of words. She’s a real class act.
Was there any music that got you through Lockdown? What was it and how did it help you?
I’m a musical theatre fiend! I had musicals like Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton on the go constantly. They always carried me away into their stories and distracted me from the world falling apart around us.
What are you looking forward to this OHP season?
I am looking forward to returning to the stage after the birth of my son. Both my husband and I will be appearing in the season so it will be a real family affair. My son has been promised a place on the Young Artists Programme to test out his new lungs!
If you could perform any role, what would it be?
There are too many to choose from! What soprano doesn’t want to sing Mimì one day? I’d also love to give the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare a go.
If you could work with any performer or director, alive or dead, who would it be?
I’d love to work with Baz Luhrmann and be a part of a huge spectacle opera. His films are so cool and I loved what he did for La bohème at Opera Australia.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received, musical or otherwise?
My mother always used to say ‘what’s meant for you won’t pass you’. This has always comforted me in both my career ups and downs, and in life.