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In the run-up to our St Matthew Passion concert, we interview counter-tenor Robin Blaze.
When did you decide to make music your career?
Never. Music is not a career. Calling it a career implies some control over your circumstance, and being a musician doesn’t offer that. If someone is willing to give you money to perform, you are a lucky person, but it’s entirely dependent on other people’s whims, so the best approach is simply to perform as if it is a matter of daily discipline and forget it’s your job. Until you have to pay the mortgage.
What attracted you to working with the OAE?
If you’re serious about performing early music, you’d be a fool not to want to work with them.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
The most grown-up thing I’ve done was to be a principal at the ROH. I had a dressing room next to Placido Domingo, and two down from Franco Zeffirelli.
If you could only perform the music of one composer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Bach. And Purcell.
What do you fear the most?
Human cruelty. We are so casually hateful to each other, for such inadequate reasons. Being kind seems to be a genuinely unfashionable concept.
If you could choose to work in a different profession, what would it be and why?
Opening batsman for England. They need one.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Gary Cooper playing Bach, and The Cure B-sides collection.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
You’re never as good as the nice reviews, or as bad as the unkind ones. And everyone gets both.
Robin performs in St Matthew Passion at the Royal Festival Hall on 2 April find out more