When Susan Bullock delivers the traditional rendition of "Rule, Britannia!" at this year's Last Night of the Proms it will come as a ringing endorsement of her continuing pre-eminence as Britain's leading dramatic soprano.

It's a journey that has taken her from the lyrical delights of invariably lovelorn Italian heroines to Strauss and Wagner heroics - "large lady roles", as Bullock likes to call them.

It's a very specialised sector of the soprano repertoire and in this exclusive audio podcast Bullock talks to Edward Seckerson about some of the myths surrounding it - namely that it's all about big voices reaching for big notes and not, as Bullock so eloquently articulates, about the creation of finely nuanced and multi-faceted characters.

She is passionate about the characters she plays, a stickler for thorough exploration of text and motivation - and, never one to mince words, she gives "misleading" reality TV shows like Popstar to Operastar a rough ride. Next year is a big year for her at the Royal Opera House: Elizabeth I in Britten's Gloriana and at long long last her first Brunnhilde in the House.

As to the present, the design of her Last Night frock has been referred to health and safety and it's odds on that a Wagnerian helmet and spear will figure in there somewhere.

Bullock now has engagements stretching beyond 2014 but the word "Diva" is nowhere to be found in her vocabulary. Hard work and good sense still govern everything she does and the proof is always in the performances. At the Proms she'll sing "Climb Every Mountain" alongside the Wagner. How appropriate.