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Speed Interview – Stuart Jackson

Wed Mar 13 2013

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On 22 March, our first concert as part of the Kings Place Bach Unwrapped series will explore Bach’s Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos.  Among the performers will be critically acclaimed tenor; Stuart Jackson. We caught up with Stuart for a few quick questions.

What do you fear the most?
Probably serious illness for someone close to me.

When was your break through moment?
Probably when I came second in the Wigmore Hall Song competition – it worked out that I had a chunk of free time beforehand that let me rehearse very intensively meaning that when I got there I could just enjoy it. I had no expectations at all, so getting as far as I did was amazing.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
One of my close friends most likely.

What – or where – is perfection?
I’m not sure perfection as a reality really exists, after visiting Jamaica a few years ago I’d say that a Caribbean beach in the evening is pretty close.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Such a difficult question – in terms of who I like to watch, it’s probably less heroes and more antiheroes – Walter White, Stringer Bell, Don Giovanni etc. In terms of who I admire, it’s characters who take strong moral stands, along the lines of Atticus Finch.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Whenever some of my friends who live up north come down to London I try to make sure I have brunch with them at my local coffee shop – it does fantastic cooked breakfasts!

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Definitely a cheaty answer as he died a few years back, but I’ve still got to say Norman Borlaug – his work on semi-dwarf wheat saved many hundreds of millions of lives, and yet he is barely known.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Practically, I’d love to be able to play the piano better, or have more languages. I’d also love to be able to play a sport well.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To do what I love as much as I can.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
According to iTunes, it’s “Des Fräuleins Liebeslauschen”, a Schubert song with Graham Johnson and Philip Langridge.  Outside of classical music, it would have to be something by Joanna Newsom – probably “Strawdust and Diamonds”.

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