FEATURE: Getting To Know…Anna Huntley | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Award-winning mezzo-soprano Anna Huntley stars in Tell Me The Truth About Love, an opera at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April that celebrates Tyneside, featuring the Royal Northern Sinfonia and people that have experienced homelessness in Newcastle and Gateshead.

So, tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m an opera singer, originally from Stockton-on-Tees, currently living between London and Berlin. I am also a passionate singer of song and so recital and concert work is a big part of my career. I love poetry and I love the emotions expressed in this more miniature art form – Big emotions that are expressed passionately in a shorter, more condensed form, sung in a more intimate setting. I also enjoy exploring the boundaries of the music I can perform and thus far have begun to delve into the jazz, cabaret and folk worlds.

What’s the first record you ever bought?
I’m not quite sure what the first record I bought was but being a child of the 80s and a fan of ‘Neighbours’, my early love was definitely firmly held for Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue. Fortunately, there was an eclectic mix of music in our household so I was also introduced to the music of The Beatles, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, The Beach Boys, Sandy Denny, The Rolling Stones, Sting, amongst many others. One of the earliest records I remember being bought was an album by The Police on an old 45 record (I was very young at the time, I hasten to add!)

What’s your guilty pleasure musically?
This has probably been answered in the previous question (and believe me, there is a lot more to choose from!) but a long-standing huge musical pleasure for me has been the albums of Fairport Convention and my family and I make the annual trip to their Cropredy Festival. Whether or not they are a guilty pleasure though, probably depends who I’m talking to! But our family loves them and their music has been a huge backdrop to our upbringing.

Favourite film of all time?
This is just too difficult to decide on just one, but films that have had a big impact on me when I first saw them and ones I still love are: Amelie, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Hitchcock’s, The Birds.

Your guilty pleasure film?
Lots of the 80s/90s films such as Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Batteries Not Included, Short Circuit, Gremlins, musicals such as West Side Story, High Society, Sound Of Music and pretty much any Christmas Film (but especially White Christmas).

If you could recommend one TV series to binge watch, what would it be?
Again, too difficult! The original for me was 24 so I would have to recommend that but in recent years I’ve loved The Good Wife, Homeland, White Collar and Mad Men.

Your favourite book?
To Kill A Mockingbird.

Who or what makes you laugh the most?
My Uncle Stephen would want me to say him… but I will go for a more general answer of my friends, my nieces and my family. Being around people who can make me ‘belly laugh‘, is the best.

Who or what makes you sad?
The lack of thought and care that people show one another; the lack of support for one another and people being judgemental. I just don’t understand it. 

If you had super power, what would it be?
A no-brainier for me – Disapparating!

And finally, you get to play a board game with any three famous people from history, who do you choose and what’s the board game?
Noel Coward, Audrey Hepburn and Mozart for a game of Rapidough. Hopefully there would be a piano in the room for after game fun too!
(Although if the people I can choose are allowed to still be living, then Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury and David Suchet for a game of Cluedo! Which probably tells you what my guilty TV pleasures are…)

Anna Huntley performs in Tell Me The Truth About Love at Sage Gateshead on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th April.

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