New York, New York! … (and Cleveland too)

MetNightAlthough I had been offered a contract for Così fan tutte at the Met whilst I was singing Don Giovanni in Marseille, my actual New York debut was in 1978 with the New York City Opera in La Bohème and La Traviata. I recall that there were two performances of each.  After the first performance of Bohème I invited a colleague – the baritone, Dominic Cossa – and his wife to have dinner with me at a restaurant: Fiorello’s opposite the theatre.  I had worked with Dominic in Così, in Strasbourg a year or so earlier. We celebrated my success in not quite the style I had intended, as my reservation was delayed by forty-five minutes and the service was rather poor, thus dampening the elation somewhat. Continue reading

The French connection

FishyPizzaAfter my sojourn in Paris for Idomeneo, I had quite a lot of contracts in France. These included Così fan Tutte in Strasbourg, plus the recording of that same opera with Kiri, which I mentioned in a previous post (‘Salzburg, surgery and setbacks’).  One of my next engagements was in Marseille, as Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio.  A German soprano, Rose Wagemann sang Leonora, and a Dutch tenor, whose name I really can’t remember was Florestan.  Continue reading

Time travel

MusicOrNavy2

I want to go back in time, to before where this blog began, and return to my latter school years. Yes, it is the same school in whose uniform I was pictured in an earlier post (Auditions, teachers and early tragedy). Whilst at school, some friends and I started a ‘group’. We loved the Beatles, the Kinks and all those groups of that era. I, of course, was the singer and two mates – Norman Snell (bass guitar) and John Edge (drums) – began looking for two other guitarists.

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Salzburg, surgery and setbacks

Conductor'sHands2I left the Royal Academy of Music in June 1973, having already auditioned successfully for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In addition to securing a contract to sing in the chorus during the forthcoming season, I was asked to understudy the role of Idamante in Mozart’s opera, Idomeneo.But first, it was off to Salzburg for the Opera Course that summer. Whilst there, I was selected to help on the conductor’s course, which was led by none other than the great Herbert Von Karajan.

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