It's a homecoming a long time in the making for Danielle de Niese, the internationally acclaimed soprano.
She made her name playing Cleopatra with "Beyonce-like" choreography at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, two hours south of London.
According to one critic, "She put the sex into Sussex". The leading lady's reputation spread far and wide from the historic English county.
"It made my career," she said. "It catapulted me to a level of fame I hadn't had before."
Within a year she was dating the festival's owner and her future husband, Gus Christie, in what friends describe as a fairytale romance.
And since then de Niese's beautiful voice and sprightly dance moves have carried her to opera houses in New York, Vienna and Munich.
"When you play certain kinds of glamorous roles then people kind of go 'well that's how you are in real life'," she said.
"Now that's not to say that I'm not a sexy person in real life but part of being a character is incarnating a whole person from your toes up to your fingertips."
Her accent is peppered with American inflections but she was born in Australia to Sri Lankan parents.
At nine years old, de Niese became the youngest-ever winner of Young Talent Time — the variety show that introduced Australia to Tina Arena, Debra Byrne and Dannii Minogue.
"To be a finalist was amazing, to have won was extraordinary for me," she said.
"Young Talent Time was the be-all and end-all of every kid's life."
The family moved to California after a string of American schools offered the young musical prodigy scholarships.
De Niese thrived. She appeared in a Disney ad and won an Emmy for her work as a presenter on the TV show LA Kids.
After she made her operatic debut with the Los Angeles Opera, the world beckoned.
"The challenges that I've had have been about trying and failing," she said.
"I don't talk about it very often mainly because I was always taught by my mum and dad to just keep your head up high and keep going."
De Niese's life has all the trappings of a fairytale. She lives in a 500-year-old English manor with her husband and two-year-old son, Bacchus.
"People do see it as a bit of a fairy tale, because my husband's grandfather founded Glyndebourne and he fell in love with a soprano called Audrey Mildmay," she said.
"When Gus and I got together, people kind of went, 'oh, it's history repeating itself' and, yes it is, but in another way we didn't pay any attention to that."
In the years since she left Australia, she has imagined what it would be like when she returned.
Now, the 38-year-old singer will make her Australian operatic debut in Opera Australia's production of The Merry Widow, which opens in Melbourne next week.
"It's so special for me to be back in my home country," she said.
"All of my dreams were born here."