Beer is good. It’s particularly good after a long, hard day at the office. It enters another realm of significance entirely when you are attempting to sing a contemporary opera for the first time. Today is the dress rehearsal of Ryan Wigglesworth’s first opera, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Ryan, with whom I … More Exit, in pursuit of beer.
Scrolling through Twitter this morning, I came across a post which suggested that opera singers feign a preference for popular music over classical music in order to appear cool. This immediately caught my interest, not least because the post was in response to a newspaper interview in which a good friend of mine expressed his … More What are you listening to?
Having spent my summer singing all three Wotans and Kurwenal, I’ve finally plucked up the courage to have a stab at The Flying Dutchman, or Der fliegende Holländer, as it’s known in German. I say “finally” because it is a role I have studiously avoided for a long time. With good reason. Both Norman Bailey … More The Flying Scotsman
Bad nights. We’ve all had them. I’ve certainly had my share over the last 25 years. For as long as I’ve been singing, I’ve dreamed of one day singing Wotan at Bayreuth, and, last Tuesday, in Das Rheingold, I finally got my chance. And I sucked. Big time. Why? I simply couldn’t breathe properly. When … More Suck it up.
Previously on Walhall of a Mess :- Walhall of a Mess Walhall of a Mess – Part Dieu So I went for a walk. Not your average Sunday afternoon stroll, mind you, but a proper walk. Real Forrest Gump-style stuff. Not exactly sure how long I’ve been gone, but I reckon it must be … More Walhall of a Mess – Sieg3d, The Final Insult
As I sit here idling away a free afternoon, sipping on a tasty local artisan ale in a deserted Colombian bar, Chumbawumba playing on the jukebox, the swell of the city ebbing and flowing around me, two intrepid little ladies have just dived headlong into the middle of heavy traffic and started waving their arms … More Hola! Bogotá!
If you asked people to close their eyes and try to picture a typical opera house in their head, I suspect that many would immediately conjure up an image of the Vienna Staatsoper, so iconic is this wonderful old building. Opened in 1869, and restored after severe damage to the auditorium and backstage areas during … More Oh, Vienna…
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve dreamt of singing at Bayreuth. To us Wagneraks (Wagner-anoraks) this place is, well, it’s Valhalla, the home of our vocal gods, where the spirits of our singing heroes and heroines, past and present, are forever celebrated. If popular wisdom is to be believed, then heading to a place … More Wagnerak Valhalla
Made it. My five-month non-stop Wagner extravaganza is finally over, and, as I wait for the BA check-in desk to open, there’s a little time for reflection. Back to back role debuts of Kurwenal, Hans Sachs, and Walküre Wotan were always going to be a tall order, and, now that we’ve finished our final show … More Hugs all round
America is a big place. The “land of the free and the home of the brave” was conceived by the founding fathers as a place of equality, idealism and opportunity, a land of plenty, a fresh Utopia where everything would be better, fairer, and, apparently, much, much bigger. I’m always startled by the sheer bloody … More Don’t push it!!!
They say you never forget your first time, and it’s absolutely true. I was an 18-year old music student in Glasgow the first time I heard Wotan’s Farewell. Sitting in the music library, headphones on, listening to an LP (that’s a Long-Playing vinyl recording, for those who are too young to remember, or so old … More The Old Bastard
The old AyePatz bleurgh has been sporadic at best these past few months, owing to a hefty/borderline insane schedule that has seen me taking on Kurwenal, Hans Sachs, and Walküre Wotan in just five hectic months. All three roles have been new to my repertoire, and, unfortunately, whenever I’ve had the urge to set down … More Genug der Wort’!