Spontaneity and stress

DasLiedScoreNow, you might think that the life of an opera singer involves moving serenely from one long-planned engagement to another, and to a certain extent it does. However, from time to time, unforeseen events elsewhere can give rise to sudden and unexpected opportunities. It is on occasions such as these that the impulse to rise to the challenge on offer can result in frenetic activity and unbelievable levels of stress.

Whilst performing at the Met in New York in 1983, I was awakened at midnight by a telephone call from my agent, David Foster. He told me that he was in Chicago, and that the Chicago Symphony had sacked the tenor they had engaged for Mahler’s ‘Das Lied von der Erde’, which was to be conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.  Continue reading