16 year old Juliette DiBello is a singer songwriter from Pymble Ladies’ College, who has entered into numerous competitions and performed at recitals with her own compositions. Her ultimate goal is opera, and she shares with us the passion and hard work that drives her towards it.

Hi Juliette, you were wonderful on Speech Night singing "I Am Woman"! Do you mind introducing yourself with a funny/embarrassing story?

So when I was in Year 6, I was Music Captain and we presented the acts at the yearly recital nights. Everyone knew that I’ve had a crush on the other Music Captain for about a year. We sat on two chairs at the side of the stage and got up and sat down to present each act. After I had introduced someone, instead of sitting on my chair I sat right in his lap instead, entirely by accident. The entire audience saw, and boy did I get teased! To this day it is one of the most embarrassing things I can remember! 

Who's your favourite singer, who's your favourite composer, and what's your favourite song?

Operatic soprano Maria Callas. To me, she is the epitome of how singing should be: pure and raw emotion. She puts everything she has into how she sings, every single time she sings.

My favourite composer is Mozart, because although some other composers wrote equally beautiful and powerful music, Mozart was the most versatile composer. He could compose all music at an equally elite level, which is extremely inspiring to me.

Favourite song has got to be Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.

Who/ what is your driving force?

My parents, especially my Dad, introduced me to all types of music from an early age. From when I was little I was exposed to everything! I have been playing the piano for thirteen years, and so the pursuit of excellence in music has always been a big part of my life. I always loved to sing.
Every time I practice, and think to myself ‘you can’t do it’, I remind myself that there is someone in the world who thinks they can, and I work harder.

What does music mean to you?

I love music because it makes me feel loved, and wanted, and worth something. It gives me a purpose, and a calling. I could not imagine life without it.

I can really feel your passion towards music! How'd your musical journey start?

I originally wanted to be a contemporary singer, and wrote music to that effect and always sang the styles that came under that banner. In Year 9 I produced a CD for my Scholars’ Program of my original music and donated its proceeds to the RUOK Foundation.
I am currently pursuing opera, it challenges me to no end and I love it! Opera requires extensive training, training that never really ends. It is a singular pursuit, even with a teacher. It requires constant dedication and love.

What's your process of composition? Where do you draw inspiration from? What's the piece you're most proud of? And finally, to you personally, what's so meaningful about composition?

When I compose, I just sit down and do it, and the music is just sort of there. My favourite thing that I have composed is a song for part of my Year 9 Scholars’ Program project, called ‘Catcher’. I wrote it for a friend who was going through a hard time.
The most meaningful thing I get out of composing is the ability to create the feelings myself that other music creates for me. I love being able to make something beautiful, it makes me feel peaceful.

Have your faced any challenges regarding music?

Every musician has their doubts as to whether they can achieve their goals. I don’t think there was a single biggest challenge; the pursuit of excellence is a challenge in itself.

What do you do if you ever mess up during a performance?

I've definitely messed up on a piano performance! The best thing to do when you stuff up is to just keep playing, and to keep your face straight, like it was a stylistic decision. The majority of the audience won’t know unless you betray discomfort.

Do you have any words of advice for those working hard towards their goals?

Do not slack off. Do not ever think that you have more time than you need, because you do not. There is always someone working harder than you, and unless you work harder they will beat you. Work as hard as you can, always be honest, no matter how hard that is, and always be yourself, no matter what others think.

Oath! With that mentality, where do you see yourself in the future?

I have always known that music was what I wanted to do with my life. I cannot picture myself being happy doing anything else. After school I want to study opera at university, or at a school of music overseas. Being accepted into institutes like Juilliard (New York) or the Royal Academy of Music (London) would be a dream come true!

It's been a pleasure getting to know you a bit, good luck with your musical pursuits!

Thank you, it was nice chatting to you too!

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