Having grown up in a US military family, Opera Australia chorus singer Kristen Leich has travelled widely. The former New York City Opera performer and mother of two tells Matt Crossman why she calls Kyneton home.

 

How did you come to live in the Macedon Ranges?

It’s a bit of a love story. My former employer in the US is Australian and her friends are now my in-laws. My husband and I met in New York and one thing led to another. We decided New York probably wasn’t the best place to raise a family and it was much easier for his work [as a property valuer] to live in Australia … so we came back to his home town, Kyneton, in 2012.

 

I understand you grew up in Colorado Springs?

Mostly. I was in a military family, so we kind of lived everywhere.

 

Having been to many places around the world, how have you found Kyneton?

I’ve come to really love it. It wasn’t such a large leap, coming from Colorado originally. I really like that we know our neighbours and the fact we are right near Piper Street. It’s great to be able to get a meal or a craft beer whenever you want.

 

What are your thoughts about the local arts scene?

I’m part of a group called Music in the Central Highlands. I’ve been really fortunate to be involved in that concert series. Occasionally, we get to catch some local theatre or something. It’s hard to make the time, but thank God for the town hall. There’s some really great shows that come through.

 

What are some of the local cafes you visit?

Oh my goodness, where do I start? I must say my heart belongs to Major Tom’s … they have got fantastic burgers and we’ve had some good experiences there. We also love Pizza Verde, which is run by a fellow American, and Little Swallow. The Royal George [Hotel] is another favourite … we had our wedding reception there.

 

■ Kristen Leich will perform in Opera Australia’s productions of La Boheme and The Pearlfishers in Melbourne next month. Details: www.opera.org.au