Meeting your heroes…

Meeting your heroes…

One of the things I love (and at times hate) about opera, is the fact that it is a very small world. There are few people who choose to

pursue this career so it means that there are never that many degrees of separation between you and your heroes. I realized this the other day as I was queuing at the stage door of the Royal Opera House. It occurred to me that I have met a lot of my operatic ‘idols’ – people that I have listened to on countless recordings seen perform many times, people I respect and admire. In the operatic world there is not the same ‘otherworldly’ element that distorts the idea of celebrity in other entertainment industries and I value the fact that the, for want of a better word, normalness of opera singers can be easily seen.

Even though they (we – I hope) are entertainers, they are also just normal people, with a particular talent who have worked very, very hard for their art. I think (and I hope, again) that this is a meritocratic industry. My hope is that the best and hardest workers will rise to the top.
For some reason I find it inspiring to meet opera singers because when I do, I really do just see them as normal people. That helps me to feel that the gap between us – may not actually be so great.

If I work as hard, then maybe I can get somewhere near where they are?

So – who have I met? Joyce DiDonato, Roberto Alagna, Angela Georghiu, Juan Diego Florez, Sir Willard White, Joseph Calleja, Sir Antonio Pappano, Anna Netrebko, Danielle de Niese, Elina Garaca and on this most recent trip to ROH, the great Placido Domingo.

Some of these have been inspiring meetings and some I cannot lie, have been massively underwhelming. But the general feeling has remained for me that these are people that I can aspire to emulate and again, if I work hard enough, maybe I can approach their level.

Here’s hoping (and working)

What do you think and have you met your heroes… What was it like?