Samantha Barks has revealed she found learning to sing opera for her latest film role a “great challenge” but won’t be pursuing it as a career any time soon.
The British actress, 26, plays Mozart’s muse and opera singer Josefa Duchek in the forthcoming Interlude in Prague and had to undergo hours of lessons.
“I loved the idea of the challenge of playing an opera singer. It was a big challenge but I loved every moment,” she told the Standard.
“I just threw myself into having lessons and coaching and spent as much time in the day that I possibly could getting into that sound. I had some fantastic lessons, a few here in London and a few in Prague.”
While Barks, who has sung on the West End stage in shows including Les Misérables and City of Angels, “loved” learning the new skill, she plans on leaving it the professionals for the time being.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to go head-to-head with the opera singers because I really do bow down to them, they’re amazing,” she said.
“I did my best. It was very fun to learn and a great challenge. I think there are so many fantastic opera singers and I don’t think I’d necessarily try and go into that world now but it’s a great thing that I can maybe use within my own singing.”
Barks stars opposite in Aneurin Barnard and James Purefoy in John Stephenson’s new big screen film, about Mozart’s turbulent few months in Prague before writing Don Giovanni.
Despite having previously starred in Stephenson’s 19th century drama The Christmas Candle, and 1930s-set Bitter Harvest, Barks admitted she’s not worried about being pigeonholed in period dramas.
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“I’m very drawn to that style of film, they have been the roles that I’ve been lucky enough to get and I absolutely love them,” she said.
“Some people hate wearing a corset and I honestly don’t mind it. You do after a while you go ‘Wow, I haven’t not worn corsets and wigs for a while’, but I love doing it.”
However, Barks would like to explore a darker character in the future as “some of the best parts are evil.”
“I’d love to play a nasty character,” she said. “They’re always interesting and you can easily draw on people and things.”
Carnaby International presents Interlude in Prague, arriving in cinemas nationwide from 25th May and on DVD and HD Digital from 29th May.