Sydney Opera House

Persistence, determination behind Anke's success


The Operative Word with Anke Höppner


Why do you do the job that you do? I love to portray different characters.

Who has influenced you most professionally? [Director] Harry Kupfer.

Is there any other profession that you would have liked to have followed? I’d have liked to have studied Psychiatry.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? To love, to be loved and to contribute to the wellbeing of others.

If you could have dinner with a historical figure, who would it be? Mozart and Beethoven would be great…

What is your greatest extravagance? Being honest.

One thing you regret is… Being honest.

If you could have any opera character as a friend, who would it be? I’d love to hang out with all the boys from La fanciulla del West. There’d never be a dull moment.

Who or what is the love of your life? My husband Barry Ryan (pictured right) and my Dad.

What are you optimistic about? I’ve met and worked with incredibly intelligent, talented and good young people. I trust them to create our future.

You would like to devote more time too… My hobbies.

What is your favourite food? Fruit.

What is your most treasured possession? My wedding ring.

Which is the opera that got you hooked? Butterfly, Salome, Anna Bolena, Tosca...

Which opera do you never need to hear again? I could do very well without ever having to listen again to any opera by Haydn.

If there’s one quote that really speaks to you it’s… A quote by Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the US: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

What is your idea of misery? To have nothing to do.

You still hope to… Believe that the best is still ahead of me.

Which characteristics do you most admire in others? Decency and common sense.

You feel guilty when you think about… The piece of cake I had this week and last week and…

What type of holiday do you most enjoy? I enjoy the countryside. It could be anywhere in the world.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Take away the niggling self-doubt which seems to creep up too often.

Who is your favourite band? I don’t have one but any music I can jog and dance to will do.

You spend too much money on… Cosmetics.

Your greatest achievement has been… Always my last show.

The book everyone loved but you could not finish was... Sorry, I still have to find it. I love reading too much and will sink my teeth into anything.

What is your favourite kitchen appliance? My mincer, because I’d like to know exactly what is in my spaghetti Bolognese…

How do you stay up to date with new technology and trends? Trial and error. If the need arises, I’ll work it out.

Who is your favourite heart throb? My Barry, really, what else do you want me to say?