Four glamorous sopranos singing some of the world's most beautiful music – it's a match made in heaven when London's Ida Girls make their Australian premiere at NOOSA Alive! in July.
The members of Ida Girls – Georgi Mottram (Jersey, Channel Islands), Wendy Carr (Scotland), Laura Couuts (Australia) and Sarah Vaughan (Ireland) – are all classically-trained and originally met on the London production of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Princess Ida'.
Striking a lasting friendship and exuding a rare chemistry, the quartet have made a respectable name for themselves performing in some of the world's top music halls and opera houses.
How are you feeling about Ida Girls' debut Australian performance at NOOSA Alive!?
[Laura] I am so excited for the Ida Girls to come to Noosa. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth and it’s amazing that I can show the girls a little bit of my home. It’s an incredible festival, one that many wonderful colleagues have performed at. So it is a real honour to be coming back to perform.
Considering you're from SE Queensland originally, will this be something of a homecoming for you?
Absolutely. Especially since I have a newborn nephew to meet.
For Georgi, Wendy and Sarah – what are you looking forward to the most about the trip?
We are most looking forward to visiting Noosa. We have seen pictures and it looks like paradise. We have heard so many amazing things about the festival, so we are really excited to sing at NOOSA Alive! and visit Laura's home while we are there.
Are there any plans at this point for more live shows in Australia or even a tour?
[Laura] Ida would love to do a tour in Australia. It’s something we have always wanted to do. We will definitely have to look at getting back to achieve this dream of ours – perhaps when we have some down time in Brisbane we can assess how we can go about it.
What have been some of your favourite songs to perform as Ida Girls?
As well as being part of Ida Girls I also write arrangements. It is a very special thing to be able to write the music and sing it. So I would have to say something like 'O Mio Babbino Caro' as we are all opera trained it is lovely to do some Puccini. We love singing 'Somewhere'; it’s a very special a capella number which is very close to our hearts, and we adore 'The Prayer'. It’s one of the first songs we did together and has become somewhat of a signature song for us.
The four of you initially met on the London production of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Princess Ida'; what motivated you to start singing together as Ida Girls?
The London production of 'Princess Ida' was a very lovely time. We all made such good friends. The premise of the group was simply that we wanted to stay friends and keep in touch. So we would meet up weekly, sing a little bit, have life chats and hang out. The group really stemmed from a love of being friends and singing together.
You currently perform covers; does the group have plans to write and record original music?
Absolutely. We are currently working with some incredible composers and are in the studio regularly recording new material. Some of which will be released soon.
The group has performed at some pretty high-profile venues; are there any that stand out as highlights for you?
One of our first gigs was performing on the BBC to millions of viewers, that was particularly special. We have loved performing in London’s West End also. Everywhere we perform is wonderful. We really love it, and Noosa will definitely go down as a highlight.
What are the best and worst aspects of performing on cruise ships?
The best aspects are the theatres. We are lucky enough to perform in the most beautiful floating theatres that seat roughly 700-800 with a full orchestra or band behind us. Playing with live musicians is wonderful. We also love having so much time to visit some of the most exciting places in the world.
The only downside of performing on the cruises is the travel to get there. We’ve almost got the knack of getting over jet lag down to a T, however sometimes we get pretty tired!
Are you involved in any projects outside Ida Girls at the moment?
We all have solo projects, but really Ida is our main focus and passion and is a full-time thing, so we are very happy putting all our time into the group.
Ida Girls are performing heavily for the rest of 2018 and the start of next year; what else does the group have planned moving forward?
We have some exciting projects in the pipeline which at this point we are not allowed to reveal, however we shall definitely be shouting from the rooftops once the projects are confirmed!
Thank you so much for your time. We can’t wait until July!
Love, Ida Girls