|On his voice||On modern technology||On early music|
|On his repertoire||On Bach||On opera|
||On classical music|
|On being famous||On Handel||On pop music|
|On his career||On Vivaldi||His favourite composers|
|On René Jacobs||On being a chorister||On the countertenor voice|
|On his CD Arias for Senesino||On languages in music|
here for online and print interviews with and articles about
On his voice
I'm aware that I have a very special voice. It's a gift, it comes from somewhere.
In some respects, it's against the natural disposition of the body.
Men don't usually sing like that. I'm blessed to have this voice.
The quality of the voice that creates emotions in the listener is something you cannot learn.
It's the alto register. E to F on the top, and probably a bit more than
one and half octaves lower to an A or G. Something like that.
It's a constant process of development. The voice has matured, getting fuller and richer.
My vocal flexibility has increased as my musical imagination has gotten stronger.
The range hasn't increased, but the lower voice has gotten more solid.
My voice is what it is. It's dangerous to push it into a mould. I do have a chest voice,
but I don't start using it until very low down. I like to sing as much as possible in my head voice.
I never felt comfortable in a tenor or baritone, and I think it has helped my technique
that I never had a phase of singing in those ranges.
It's in the same range as Senesino's voice.
It has always been strong, even as a boy in the Kiedrich choir. My teacher Richard Levitt taught me
to strengthen it, and I do work on it, but it is naturally a strong voice. *
I am aware that in chorales it is strong, that the timbre (not necessarily the volume)
can be heard, but I am anxious not to take other singers’ space, and I think I know how to do that.
The thing is to contribute to the whole sound, not to stand out. When I am singing ensemble,
I listen to the whole sound, and some voices blend better with mine than others.
Most of all, Maria Cristina Kiehr. Hers is very close to mine in timbre. When we were singing together,
I would listen to our two voices, and sometimes I could not tell whose voice I was hearing. *
On tour, I never drink alcohol. It dehydrates you, just like a sauna.
Or like hot air. It noticeably makes itself felt in the voice two days later.
As a singer one must give consideration to these things. And we are all hypochondriacs anyway.
--When I listen to my previous CDs, I hear myself trying too strenuously for vibrato,
for a fashionably full and rich sound, which is not natural to me.
So I've tried to remove that, to use vocal colours that are specifically mine.
At first, you think it's impossible to create a sound big enough for the Albert Hall but
what I discovered is that, even if you can't fill it, it's possible to create a sound that carries through it.
You mustn't fight the size of the place. And the ears of the listeners adapt as well.
Just as one can zoom in visually, so one can zoom in acoustically.
myself as a countertenor of the English school, which means that I sing
Renaissance and Baroque music. This is what I learned, this is where I feel most at home.
The temptation is to move into the commercial side and exploit the reputation that you've built for ten years
of singing concerts, and then you're popular with CD buyers and you just do all easy-listening Baroque.
I don't like it when people think that to be a successful classical musician you have to dilute what you do,
chop it up and remix it to make it popular. It's about presentation, and you don't need to alter your 'product'
to present it well. You have to have integrity and create a complete, genuine article.
I will sing later music some time, when the time is right. And earlier music, too, Renaissance music.
I do not want to be restricted. But for now, I stay with Baroque, mainly. And the folksongs, traditional songs. *
The art is not showing that it is an art.
Singng is a bit like the biathlon. You have to keep your pulse down or you can't aim properly.
When you walk out on stage, your pulse is high, so you have to breathe in, lower the pulse,
and absorb the energy. When you can do that, then it's fun. You can have a spontaneous idea
and there'll be no relay between the idea and what you do. Then you can enjoy singing,
because what you hear is what you imagined.
The audience probably won't realize that you put an emphasis on a word here or there, that you stretched
this syllable a bit, or you coloured a word. They won't hear all the detail, but all the details and all the work that
you put into an interpretation will lead to a complete idea. And that is either convincing or not.
Every singer has to find his or her own way - in life as well as in music.
When I open a score, it asks a question. And the question is not necessarily: ‘Please, Andreas,
sing me beautifully.’ It's: ‘Read the words that you sing. Reflect a little about what you are singing.’
In the Baroque time, music was there to serve the words. That's the priority. That's the message.
So then I think about my role and the text and how I can express the ideas I have about it.
If everybody invests his attention and his love into his phrase, thinking 'I am part of the whole ensemble,
but I am not unimportant, and I am also not the soloist, but the balance - what does it need now?
This phrase that I play on my violin, does it represent a new theme, a new motif? No?
OK, so I will step back & leave it to the others. Now my phrase develops, I can do a bit more.'
This creates a kind of levitation in the music. Then the music starts to live.
I prefer to sing Baroque repertoire with a Baroque orchestra, but for instrumental music,
I think the most important thing is that the instruments are well played and with conviction.
There is so much historic research, but research never guarantees the spirit, or a happy audience.
The most important thing is the message of the music.
It's important to do both oratorio and recital. But of course recital is more interesting.
If you can stay with an audience for one and a half hours you have time to develop and establish a relationship
with the audience. You can get into the music, and you're calmer, and then you develop something.
The highest aim in music is never beauty alone, it's expression. And in Baroque music, there is no doubt,
the message is important, the text that we sing. So the text demands certain measures to be expressed,
certain dramatic effects with the voice. It's not all about just singing beautifully.
It needs, well, guts, or even something that's lower than that -- that's what my teacher said.
And so we shouldn't sing like the castrati, I would say, we countertenors.
We have to use a full and rich sound and sing with body, not just with an ethereal, transparent, beautiful sound.
I tell students to think the drama in full when preparing to sing, and then when performing, to do it “minus 1”.
This relieves the tension. You have to have the drama in your mind and feel it, but the tension can be too much,
you could not sing it well. The “minus 1” relieves the tension. *
I concentrate before the concert and then, when I walk out on stage, I will signal to the audience that I am ready,
that it's not just a job, and then I stand up and sing my aria. But that is, I think, what concerts are about.
It's celebrating music, and everybody has to express, in his body language and facial expression:
'I'm ready, I want to do this, I want to sing you beautiful music, and I hope you enjoy it.'
There was an article in Germany where someone was accusing Domingo of not really singing his high C,
and the audience would be so disappointed ... this would the high point, the climax, of the concert,
when he would sing his high C. And I thought, 'Where are we? Is this the Olympic Games --
faster, louder, higher?' It's so stupid! But fortunately I've seen that an audience can be touched
and moved by honesty and by individuality. And then it doesn't need to be the most beautiful voice
or the loudest singer, but just someone who knows what he is singing about.
I am affected by the audience. I always feel their expectations, know if they are focused, feel whether
they know the music, whether they are enjoying the performance. If they are noisy or not enjoying it,
it affects my performance. If they make noise, it distracts me. I have to keep my concentration and wait.
Sometimes they will realise, sometimes someone will make a “sssh” and then I can carry on, relax again. *
It’s important to encourage musicians. One gets the maximum out of singers by not insulting them.
There’s no excuse for nastiness. For example, if a soprano leaves a production crying, or with a nervous breakdown,
it’s just bad manners on a conductor’s part. Sometimes I get very angry when I see or hear about that. It’s a lack of humanity.
On being famous
It's a nice kind of popularity, really. It's moderate and there's no invasion of my privacy.
The pleasing thing is not so much to be admired, but to know that what I have done in the past ten years
has been worth it, and is doing justice to the music that I love.
Being well known in the Baroque music world is like being well known in the chess world.
Who's the current champion in Italian chess?
Natural laziness protected me from being too ambitious, because singing big parts demands a lot of time.
I know where my limits are, and I'm getting plenty of recognition for what I'm doing.
So I don't need to stick out in an ensemble or behave like a diva.
No singer creates his own voice. You can be proud or happy about the work you've done with this voice -
learning repertoire, studying interpretation. But you should never forget that what it all comes from is something you did not earn.
It's just given. This is a very healthy way of keeping from being too ambitious or vain.
On his career
I knew that I would never sacrifice my Baroque studies to pursue pop music.
It's a strange business, the pop music world. Artists' success is ephemeral, they are famous today
and gone tomorrow, whereas in Baroque music, if you study hard and work hard, and become good at
and respected for what you do, you can have a very long career indeed, and that's what I aim for.
From the beginning, my role model has been James Bowman.
I was never that ambitious, and I was always scared to find myself in a situation where I was not in full control
of what I was doing. I don't believe in the ‘lifetime chance’, one moment when you have to make
the right or the wrong decision. Decisions come every day, and they will either lead into something or not.
I sing because I love it, because I have fun, because it's a way to praise God,
and because it's a way to earn a good living.
The food for singing is life. Arguing with your wife and children, taking a nice summer holiday, having a good party with friends,
and even the hangover the next day -- all of this is part of the liveliness in our music.
If one no longer has these experiences and only does music, one can run out of the basic fuel, which is life itself.
It's important to encourage musicians. One gets the maximum out of singers by not insulting them.
There's no excuse for nastiness. For example, if a soprano leaves a production crying, or with a nervous breakdown,
it's just bad manners on a conductor's part. Sometimes I get very angry when I see or hear about that. It's a lack of humanity
... I think now I have a responsibility to make a journey with the audience who buys my CDs. It would be easy to do only Handel arias and Hasse, all pleasing Baroque music. And it would also be not too interesting to do only the most obscure early Italian lute music. I mean, Musicall Banquet is not the Universal Classics Marketing Director's dream CD; still, I explained what the concept was and they said "Let's do it." If you see my job as developing a catalogue as a singer, there needs to be space for things like the folk songs or The Three Countertenors but also for the German Baroque songs. People who buy Wayfaring Stranger and then see the other CDs might buy Nisi Dominus, or Heroes, or Musical Banquet — most likely Heroes, because of the title... I'm not saying my mission is to lure people into the Baroque music world. And I'm not saying we should rearrange beautiful Handel arias with pop beats in order to make it digestible — that's an insult to the audience. The music as it is says everything. Just as Beatles songs don't need to be put into classical arrangements; they work just as they are.
On René Jacobs
From the interpretation point of view René Jacobs is the strongest influence I have ever had. I believe he is
the closest example we have to a real Baroque singer. He can sing a da capo on a Handel aria four times
in four completely different styles of ornamentation. We would come to the end of an aria and he would say,
'OK, what's your cadenza?' I would do a something extremely simple, and he would say
'Yes, but you could do this…' and I couldn't even follow. It just comes out of his mind. He would come out with
something of an inner strength and creativity and richness that I haven't seen with any other singer.
After René Jacobs's lessons I would almost break down because I was physically exhausted. He demands
100 per cent concentration, because he has so much important information to give you. It's a special relationship
for me because I am still his student. I don't think I will ever emancipate myself to become a singing colleague.
When I sang Giulio Cesare in Berlin he said, 'This is the cadenza, I'll send you copies of the ornamentation.' I said,
'René, I could try some of my own.' He seemed astonished that I estimated myself capable of
writing cadenzas. There is always a reason for his criticisms, but the way he articulates them can be
too hard for someone who is sensitive. But after Giulio Cesare I felt I had taken a step forward.
I had managed to get through the experience, fulfilling what René had expected of me.
I was satisfied, because I had managed to satisfy René Jacobs.
On early music ...It was never intended for our time. When Handel or Vivaldi wrote their music they didn't think in the 21st century a singer would fly into a country they didn't even know existed. This is basically what we have to decide: do we present some museum-like piece, put it behind glass? Or do we make sense of the story, the words, the emotions, and how they relate to our lives? The great thing about good art is how it still speaks to us. It's a divine part of a human being that allows a little creative spirit inside us. If someone has an idea, or wants to express something, it's valid and it stays like that.
...The art of the musician today is not to re-create it exactly as it has been - that is the tendency of the historic movement - but to move an audience by convincing them it is new music. A lot of the audience today will hear those arias for the very first time.
We have new things to discover and new names, new styles in singing and in playing instruments.
That's very exciting. I never like to talk about 'ancient music' but, as Tony Rooley put it once,
it's new music the second the string of a lute is plucked and the singer starts to sing.
It's new music, because the music is created that very moment.
And it has probably never been heard by an audience before.
I believe it's the responsibility of the musician to make sure that the audience discovers new music,
and I call this new music because it's music that's not played all the time.
There are some beautiful songs here. As an artist and a singer I'm obliged, I think,
to find a balance between popular and relatively unknown repertoire.
We have so many operas that have been huge successes at the time of Handel in London,
a lot of Italian operas that were performed in Italy, and they filled the opera houses at that time.
This is not just unknown music, it's beautiful music. It needs to be good, and we have tons of music
from Baroque times from all over Europe which is unknown. Pieces like the Stabat Mater of Vivaldi
or Nisi Dominus or the Bach solo cantatas for alto: that's the Baroque music lover's world,
and we know from sales figures that probably 25,000-30,000 people all over Europe buy those CDs.
That's a lot, but if you compare it with the whole classical market... Even for a classical music lover
the Bach solo cantatas are probably unknown. So, before we try to capture the attention of pop music lovers,
we have hundreds of thousands of people who care for classical music,
and they will love the idea of having access to Baroque music.
We have some funny things in Baroque music, like someone singing 'Open my heart with a knife
and you will find your name written on it' -- but they sing as if spring has come with sweet flowers growing.
It's a complete misunderstanding, sometimes.
I think individuality is something really precious, and there is an audience that feels that, and fortunately
I feel this audience in Baroque music concerts. It's a different kind of audience, not a showcase audience,
not the circus attraction audience.
On classical music
The next step, and it's a big challenge, is to widen the acceptance of classical music,
especially with young people, with children, and give people the idea that this is really precious,
something good for our souls, for our brains.
How do we bring young people in? Who will be interested in classical music and opera 50 years from now?
If we cannot convince young people that relaxation with music need not mean being stupefied by it,
that paying attention is richly rewarded, then – goodnight.
On pop music
I like interesting sounds, things with good melodies, good harmonies and good singing.
I don't mean that I use the standards of classical music but I like pop singers to be good at singing pop.
It's a different skill from classical and you often find that excellent classical singers can make pretty terrible pop singers.
...It's the music that almost everybody listens to. We listen to a tiny specialised music that should not be so specialised. There was a time when people really went to operas. When Caruso died, people put their gramophones out on the streets of New York and played them. Not so long ago, Bjorling and Gigli appeared in the charts. We've lost that. In Germany there is a terrible distinction between `serious' and `entertainment' music. Who invented that? I drive and listen to a song and it lifts my spirits; this three-minute piece fulfilled its purpose and one should not expect more of it. But within the context of all music being written, pop music is not good or bad, necessary or not necessary, but fulfils its purpose. -- ...Opera takes more than three minutes. Its purpose is different, more to educate and to move the human spirit, which can also happen in a rock concert. There's no question that Bach is a better composer than Sting, but that's not the question we should pose. When Frank Sinatra died, my singing teacher said this was one of the voices of the century; his timing, his phrasing. He's right. Sinatra might not have been a good opera singer, but Cecilia Bartoli is not a good pop singer, either.
On modern technology
I am a young man of the 21st Century, so I travel with my laptop, and I have another computer at home.
I'm very much interested in new media. I went to Cleveland last spring where the hotel had
a really fast Internet connection and I listened to a radio station from my home town.
This got me thinking about the potential of the internet and the fact that people on the other side of the world
who can't make it to your recitals can watch them online, which is a wonderful thing.
On Johann Sebastian Bach
Andreas Scholl interview on Bach
BBC Radio, Bach Year, 2000
Click here to download the transcript as a PDF
Bach doesn’t compromise his music in order to make it easier for the singer.
One feels that he sends out the message: 'Don’t spoil this one; you’d better be good enough.'
A hasty preparation, even an intense one, will never be as convincing as one that has matured over time.
Recitatives in particular gain immeasurably from being read out loud many times.
I can’t always recall all the single elements of my preparation when singing,
but this preparation and revisiting a piece over and over again connects these elements
to achieve a level that can’t be analysed.
I never get bored with the B Minor Mass. Like the lute songs, it's always completely fresh.
The Sanctus is so uplifting, whenever I hear it, I start to hover.
This music demands many things at once yet the secret is that it should sound effortless.
In one of the solo alto arias, I got to the end of a session and felt almost like crying.
The piece was so mighty that I was just like an ant.
If you play Bach with a bad orchestra and without any soul or spirit, you will still discover Bach.
It's still a wonderful composition. For me, he's the ultimate.
I am a Bach fan and the cantata for solo alto is the most difficult thing he wrote for a countertenor.
Very demanding to one's technique, especially the chromatic phrasing. Very difficult, one had to have very good control
of the voice, the tone. As well as having to sing solidly all through it to bring it off, there is also the matter of interpretation.
It was very special for me to have the opportunity to record this piece with Philippe Herreweghe,
because for me he is the best conductor of Bach.
...Before you can sing it, you have to speak the words hundreds of times to get their sense; just sing it, you miss the point. I am somebody different when I sing this. It is so important to know what your role is at this moment: "me or the music?"
Bach is Bach.
Everyone says you can just sing it, perform it, as it is written. 'Even if Bach is bad, it's still good - it's Bach.'
You CAN just sing it, but the moment you ask what's behind this, a whole cosmos opens
and we never will know how deep we have to go, to dig, to find the bottom, the fundament of this music,
and that makes it particularly difficult.
This is the most beautiful and difficult music Bach ever wrote for the alto voice. This is music that speaks to the intellect - you can admire Bach's contrapuntal skill and mastery of rhetoric. But it is also music that speaks directly to the soul. The purpose of all art is to make us better human beings. --
Bach's message was that life here, as we have it now, is not what Heaven will be like. In Bach's time, life was shorter,
life was more difficult, life expectancy was not 85 but probably 55. Of course, hopes and wishes were projected
into life after death, how it will be in Heaven. This is expressed in Bach's music so often, such as in
the final chorus of the St John Passion: 'Let your angels accompany my soul into heaven when I die and I will sing
and praise you for eternity'. As a musician of course, this is what Mr Bach meant. People went through his private Bible
and he had made notes. René Jacobs told me this: Bach marked passages in the Old Testament:
'Even here they also praised God with strings and timpani'. He was reading the Bible with the eyes of a musician.
Handel is the best composer for male altos, because the compositions are very vocal.
It's not too difficult to sing; we have lots of possibilities of expression; you have beautiful da capo arias
where you can do some nice ornamentations.
...This is the most beautiful alto music: it sits on the voice, it's as if it were composed for me.
And it's easy to sing in either Baroque pitch [A = 415 or 440.
Giulio Cesare is perhaps the greatest role that Handel wrote for alto.
...Handel writes with more understanding for the voice than Bach, who makes no compromises; there are very few moments where you can take a breath: the voice has to be like an oboe. Handel thinks how to make it comfortable for the singer. Vivaldi, though, reaches the same spiritual level as Bach with completely different means. He's not as sophisticated or refined as Bach's counterpoint, but on the other hand it fulfils a purpose and if I reach that purpose I do what I have to do. There's nothing more than that.
If you 'just sing' Vivaldi, it sounds like ****.
Without soul and spirit, the music just doesn't sound. Vivaldi's music uses lots of repetitive formulas
and if you don't make any dynamic or expressive changes, it sounds dull.
Nisi Dominus... is like a meditation with music and a catharsis for the one who sings and for the one who listens. But as a singer, I should be cautious about getting too involved with the music, as I sing for an audience, not for my own enlightenment.
On John Dowland's Musicall Banquet
This music comes from such a distant time that it is always a challenge to make it speak to modern ears and, to be perfectly honest, some of the poetry requires a detailed knowledge of the literary symbolism of the time. However, what transcends the occasional obscure reference or image is the simple beauty of the music itself. The great flowering of the solo song in the late Renaissance was that rare moment when poetry and melody were equal and so the melodic lines of these songs were created to be true partners to the poems. When you add the invention of my colleagues who play the instrumenal parts of these pieces you have true vocal chamber music, which is my greatest joy as a performer.
On being a chorister
For me, the most wonderful thing about the boys' choir was the amount of Baroque and Renaissance music
it performed. This means I never grew up thinking of early music as some special category.
To me it has always been as familiar as Beethoven and Mozart.
We were 8-14 years old when we sang the St John Passion, the final chorale with those words:
'Lord Jesus Christ hear my prayer for all eternity'. It was a thrilling moment for all these boys.
There was a fever: the enthusiasm of those boys -- me included -- was tremendous.
I had goose bumps -- I still get goose bumps remembering it.
I was so moved as a child by this music and the joy of singing it.
...A different ego develops. It's something organic. The artistry turns into something very natural, and that's what the audience responds to. If you start in your late teens you can get confused, believing you have created your own voice. A lot of male colleagues started in the boys' choir; we're a brotherhood, we tell the same stories. It's a very healthy way of keeping in touch with music. We did it with great joy, never feeling it was an obligation.
On languages in music
People said: 'Oh, you have to live in England for ten years before you can sing this music',
but I think I bring something of my own to it. English singers don't spend ten years in Germany
before they dare to sing Bach.
I very much admire Peter Harvey and Paul Agnew. They are both English, but if they sing German,
their pronunciation is so perfect, and their interpretations so text-orientated, that I admire them enormously.
There are so many operas we do not yet know, which were enormously successful in Venice, in Naples.
They would be very interesting, not only because they are new to us but because they are very good music
and would be popular if there were an opera house to stage them.
I like opera a lot but opera is not the big love of my life. Singing, that is what I like. The experience of the recital,
to stay with an audience for a period of one and a half hours, singing songs, creating an atmosphere,
guiding them through songs of a time that was so long ago…that is what I love most.
I like the opera experience although I have to admit it's not the big passion of my life. I don't think:
'Oh -- opera, that's my life!' No, I think: 'I like doing opera.'
I enjoyed Glyndebourne very much. It is the best place in the world to start an opera career.
It was great fun. Opera is fun!*
I hope to perform all seventeen of the roles written for Senesino by Handel.
On the countertenor voice
Being masculine or feminine limits our completeness ... social structures oblige us to exclude aspects of our personality which aren't seen to fit. Men don't cry or talk about their feelings, women sing and speak high. Simple things. And then we have a hero who transcends these rules, becoming super-human, a superhero. As [Handel's] Julius Caesar, Senesino transcended simple stupid masculinity, becoming purely human. The voice stands for something else.
It is breaking the rules of the establishment to dare to sing high as a man. Senesino was a hero because he fulfilled the desire of the audience to be complete again, not to constantly exclude one part of their personality. That's something we all carry in our soul, and that, I think, is what makes the countertenor voice so attractive.
On his CD Arias for SenesinoIn a musicological sense we did not want an exact musical biography but we wanted some of the early music - the Lotti, right through to the Porpora at the end, to show the evolution of music written for him or sung by him during his career. The arias together have great variety but many were written for this specific singer.
... on SenesinoToday everybody needs to be able to sing everything. With Senesino Handel knew exactly how to write for him. We know he had a natural stage authority. He absolutely commanded the stage and he could sing faster than anyone and was capable of great vocal acrobatics. Senesino was a very subtle artist. He was not a show-off - unusually, he did not ornament phrases but preferred instead to communicate to listeners through the sheer power of his voice and legato singing of long phrases.
... on these ariasIt is interesting that in Rodelinda Handel did not give Senesino a bravura showcase aria but preferred to give him music that allowed his sustained powers of legato singing to shine through. I think that both Handel and Senesino knew that in order to create true expression the music needs to move us. An audience can appreciate vocal acrobatics but they do not touch our soul; rather like fireworks, they are nice to look at and gasp at but when they are over it doesn’t leave us with a deeper impression.
.. on singing them todayIf today’s singers interpreted these roles exactly as they were performed in Handel’s day I think that would be a mistake. How far would you go? Can you imagine our opera singers singing their aria and then holding up the flow of the opera to take a long bow!. Some directors can go over the top in trying to address the psychological, philosophical and political context of an opera with today’s understanding of these elements when quite often they are not there in Handel’s world.
Handel did write operatic roles with this great singer in mind but we should not forget that he was writing operas with a story and was concerned with real characters. My challenge is to give a portrait of a character. And if you look at those great arias, say Dove sei, the repeated verse is designed to reinforce the emotional meaning behind the character’s thoughts and actions. You cannot separate the aria from the dramatic context of the whole opera. I always try and sing the arias as close to the dramatic context as possible and I think of the character and his motivation in the opera as a whole. In the case of this beautiful aria [Va' per le vene il sangue] I have not sung the whole work but you still try and think yourself into the whole character.
There are not so many dramatic countertenors around today to sing the great heroic Handel roles and some mezzo-sopranos can do them very well which is fine. I do feel the insistence on what is authentic can go over the top but also think the countertenor is the only voice to transcend notions of what is masculine and feminine. It somehow better conveys man struggling to attain the complete human experience which is integral to Handel’s vision.
copyright © 2005 Universal Music and Andreas Scholl
Andreas Scholl's Desert Island Discs
Click here to read the list in Goldberg magazine
I love British cars. I think German cars may be better from a technical point of view but they lack the character of English cars. My all-time favourite is the Lotus; it’s so lightweight, with a modest engine, and yet you still get you the true sports car experience. Soul is more important for me than engineering. I’m a big fan of ‘Top Gear’ too; it’s all about the more irrational things that make you buy a car.
Andreas Scholl's favourite composers
1. Johann Sebastian Bach
2. George Frideric Handel
3. Antonio Vivaldi
4. Heinrich Schütz
5. Claudio Monteverdi
Andreas Scholl in the broadcast spotlight
From Opera News, May 2006
in their coverage of Rodelinda from the met, with Andreas Scholl as Bertarido
Most recent book I really loved: The Templar Treasure at Gisors, by Jean Markale.
First record I ever bought: Super Trooper by ABBA.
All-time favorite singer: Grace Bumbry.
A composer I would like to work with: Arvo Pärt.
My worst moment in the theater is: Yet to come.
If I hadn't become a singer, I would have been: In trouble.
Guilty pleasure: Forza Motorsport on my X-Box.
Pet peeve: Friendly incompetence.
My least favorite opera: Any one in which the singers shout and one doesn't understand a word.
The thing I like best about the role of Bertarido is: That he masters his demons.
Sexiest character in opera: Monteverdi's Poppea
My weakness: Impatience.
Most misinterpreted aspect of my career: That I'll be the first countertenor ever to sing Carmen onstage.
One thing nobody knows about me: I participated in one of the worst pop-video-clips ever produced.
All these quotations except those marked * are taken from interviews with Andreas Scholl which have been published in music magazines.
Those marked * are from an interview given to SchollSoc.
Photograph at top copyright Decca