The Flying Scotsman

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

Wagnerak Valhalla

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

Hugs all round

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

Don’t push it!!!

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!!!

Genug der Wort’!

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’!

God Almighty

“What advice would you give a young singer starting out on a career?” the little boy asks the mighty Odin. He ponders for a moment. “Get out on the stage as often as possible and build experience.” Aaaaaaand… <scene>. He probably didn’t know it at the time, but with these words, John Tomlinson described for me the arc that my career … More God Almighty


Not everyone who approaches a mammoth role like Hans Sachs has the luxury of knowing several famous exponents upon whom they can rely for advice and support. Normally you’re lucky if you know one person with the first hand experience necessary to help you avoid the pitfalls that such vocal marathons contain. I’m in a … More Sachs-pertise

Walhall of a Mess

Yesterday was a good day. All was well with the world. Order reigned. Today? Not so good. A bit up and down, if I’m honest. People are pissed. Alberich is pissed because I took his Ring (and his finger). The Rhinemaidens are pissed because “their” gold has been stolen. And Fricka is pissed because… well, … More Walhall of a Mess

Coach-building a role

One of the toughest parts of performing a new role is learning the bloody thing in the first place. Note-bashing, that time-honoured tradition of parking yourself at the piano and hammering the role note-by-stubborn-note into your recalcitrant, protesting brain, is a curse familiar to all singers. And the words? Nothing for it but parrot-fashion repetition, … More Coach-building a role