When did you start singing?
I never started – I just did it!
Why did you start singing?
I cannot imagine human life without, as Plato would say…
Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
I have to say probably the first whose name I marked in my memory was Gerard Lesne.
Which singer do you most admire?
There are too many I love. I’ll say one of the past and one of the future: Farinelli and Barbara Hannigan.
What’s your favourite role?
Orfeo or Giulio Cesare, you pick…
What role have you never played but would like to?
Romeo in Capuleti e Montecchi.
What’s your favourite opera to watch?
Who is your favourite composer?
I’ll choose three among many: Monteverdi, Handel, and Bellini.
Who is your favourite writer?
There are too many… at the moment I feel I should say, Philip Roth.
Who is your favourite theatre or film director?
Pasolini for Mamma Roma.
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite dancer?
Roberto Bolle, no doubt.
What is your favourite book?
Charles Burney’s Viaggio musicale in Italia.
What is your favourite film?
The Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
Which is your favourite city?
Rome, the one, the first, the only…
What do you like most about yourself?
I am tenacious.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I’m too precise.
What was your proudest moment?
It still has to come…
When and where were you happiest?
I don’t like to look backwards.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My three children.
What is your greatest fear?
Idleness… I hate it.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Singing in the first revival in modern times of Porpora’s Orfeo written for Farinelli in 1736.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Don’t like the word extravagant.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Too many times what is considered “charity” hides harmful interests.
On what occasion do you lie?
I try not to – but no one is a saint 😉
If you hadn’t been a singer, what would you have liked to be?
A set designer.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What quality do you most value in a friend?
The capacity to talk the same language without speaking
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Dedication, a labour of love for what you do – it always makes a difference.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
What talent would you most like to have?
Being sporty… but I am too lazy.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
A musical life…
How would you like to die?
Do not want to die! 😂
What is your motto?
Canta che ti passa! [a saying meaning to alleviate worries and fears with song]
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.