Former Orpheus Scholar returns for Messiah

Have you previously sung with Orpheus? 

Yes! I was a Choral Scholar with Orpheus way back in 2012 and performed in the Missa Solemnis and Candide that year. I’m looking forward to singing with the choir again.

What was the pandemic like for you? 

About as bad as it was for any freelance opera singer in the UK. The theatres really were the first to close and the last to open, and the industry is still finding its way back to where it was before. It was really tough to miss out on some interesting gigs, but I was fortunate to be involved in a few things cobbled together in 2020 by Glyndebourne Festival Opera in-between the various lockdowns in the UK. I managed to get back to NZ for a performance of Messiah with the NZSO, which was the first proper performance I’d given in about eight months, nerve-racking! Things are getting back going properly now, but it’s definitely been a long recovery for the industry.

What has been a career highlight (or highlights) for your these past few years? 

There are many! Getting to perform Tom Rakewell in the iconic David Hockney / John Cox (pictured with Frederick, below) production of The Rake’s Progress at Glyndebourne in 2021 was definitely one, especially since we had David Hockney himself join us onstage for the final curtain call. I was back at Glyndebourne this summer, jumping into a production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was a stressful but very enjoyable experience!

Picture description eg David Hockney / John Cox with Frederick

What’s your favourite part of singing Handel’s Messiah? 

It’s quite a nice evening for the tenor – you get most of the first part off, and get to sit and enjoy the music being made by everyone else! I think my favourite bit to sing comes in the second part, Thy Rebuke. It’s such a wonderful musical moment.

What are your Christmas plans? 

I’m sticking around in NZ and will be home with the family for Christmas – trying to make the most of my time in the NZ sun before heading back to winter in the North. 

What does 2024 bring for you? 

I’m back to London in January to start rehearsals with English Touring Opera for a new production of The Rake’s Progress, which we start performing in March. Other bits here and there, and back to Germany for work later in the year!

What is your ultimate role or work to perform? 

Such a hard question to answer. There are so many roles I’d love to do, but not all of them are appropriate (for my voice type) — Brünnhilde, Isolde, and Scarpia are never going to happen! I’d love to sing Peter Grimes one day, it’s such an incredible piece of theatre! 

Best part of being back in NZ? 

Spending time with the family! London is so very far away and, while modern technology makes it a bit more bearable, it’s a hard lifestyle. Also the ease of access to nature — I spend as much of my time outdoors as possible when I’m here, it’s a real escape from the London lifestyle. Most importantly, the reliability of the coffee h

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