I believe the thing that helped me the most was to listen to as much music as possible, and to work with musicians that are interested in new music.
It’s the same thing with life – there comes a point where you understand yourself, who you are and how you fit (or sometimes don’t fit) into the world you’ve chosen to put around you. Music is analogous to that
Probably the best piece of advice I was given was “Never let anyone tell you what to do with your art”.
Be true to your inner voice. Influences are vital and valuable criticism is essential, but ultimately you must write what you feel
The biggest challenge came at the very beginning – to stay true to my technique and my natural voice, no matter what the greats of the opera business were saying when I just started out.
Success as a musician comes in many forms, but for me it lies in accomplishments.