Welsh is my mother tongue, and my children speak it. If you come and live in this community you'll work out pretty quickly that it's beneficial to learn the language, because if you're going to the pub or a cafe you need to be a part of the local life.
If you have a recital to do, you have to memorize the songs. I never use music when I do recitals. It produces an instant barrier, both for yourself and the audience.
It was in Cardiff, and the cast was 60 per cent Welsh-speaking. It's the first time I've walked into a rehearsal room speaking my mother tongue, which in itself was a breath of fresh clean air from the Welsh mountains. Singing Hans Sachs is always a milestone, but I was happy to be part of such an achievement, not personally but as a company.
People may have thought that we changed a lot. I don't think we came in with that intention. Certain things I can't stomach. But I tried to be as collegial as possible. When you sign that contract, you're tied to that opera house to try your best. But every different team will play with a different intensity.
I've been amazed by the numbers that have come out to see the torch relay, so being a part of it is lovely.