Thursday 14 December 2017

A question of culture - with Gavan Ring, baritone

Baritone Gavan Ring
Baritone Gavan Ring

Declan Cashin

Favourite singer? It's probably be a toss up between Édith Piaf and the late German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

I loved how brave they both were with the colour of their respective voices. They weren't afraid of the unconventional.

BEST GIG EVER?

It was by accident actually - I was singing at John O'Conor's RIAM farewell concert at the National Gallery and Finghin Collins conducted and played a Mozart piano concerto as part of the programme. It was truly spectacular.

DREAM DUET PARTNER?

You're going to get me thrown into the dog house! Well, outside of my wife (soprano Nicola Mulligan), I'd love to sing a duet with someone like Jonas Kaufmann or Joyce DiDonato but not in front of an audience! Just in my own studio at home.

BEST STAGE PRODUCTION?

My wife and I saw Hamlet at the Young Vic in London a few years ago - it was spellbinding. Michael Sheen was a colossus as Hamlet - inspirational stuff.

LAST BOOK YOU LOVED?

I'm finishing my PhD at the moment and recently read James Grier's The Critical Editing of Music - sounds totally boring but it was actually a terrific read, particularly in terms of how you might think about cultural history and how it affects art.

FAVOURITE FILM?

The Wind That Shakes the Barley. I think it's a stirring and very human take on how rural Ireland was affected by the independence movement and the subsequent civil war.

LAST FILM YOU LOVED?

Joyeux Noël, the movie that the opera Silent Night is based on. It is a terrific film and so touching in the re-enactment of the truce on Christmas eve 1914.

LAST FILM YOU HATED?

Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. An hour and a half of my life I'll never get back!

FAVOURITE CITY/COUNTRY?

My wife and I got engaged in Malta and we fell in love with the country - it really is beautiful. If I win the Lotto I'd love to buy a holiday home there.

CULTURAL BLINDSPOT?

Golf. I just can't get into it as much I'd like to. Maybe I need a few lessons.

Gavan will in the main stage opera Silent Night, on October 27 and 30, and November 2, in O'Reilly Theatre, Wexford, as part of the Wexford Festival Opera. See www.wexfordopera.com

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