Friday, 8 December 2006
My first thought
People who know me know that I love singing more than anything in the world. Besides the concert work that I do, I've been enthusiastically learning and performing arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Bellini and others for some years now. I recently read a quote from the British baritone Simon Keenlyside, who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest singers around at the moment. In his contribution to the age-old debate about how soon is too soon to sing operatic repertoire, he describes the dangers of performing opera in your early-to-mid-twenties as: "a Faustian pact you pay for later." I like to think that I look after my voice reasonably well and have a good technique, but the reality is that I have no idea whether or not the repertoire I'm singing now, particularly some of the heavier Donizetti bel canto baritone stuff, will cause me vocal problems later. The thing is, even if it does, am I alone in thinking that it's worth making "the pact"?