A thoughtful reader sent a pick-me-up with this link to Bryn singing ‘Miei rampolli femminini’ from Rossini’s La Cenerentola.. He’s clearly having a ball with it and so is the audience. A great singer, a great actor. From the hairstyle, I’d say this is from about 6 or 8 years ago.
The reader also sent this revealing link.
He began winning eisteddfods after his voice broke when he was 11 and went on to study singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Big Bryn also had to do tap-dancing as part of his course, which he hated. “I was dreadful,” he says. Hardly surprising, given that he could never find tap shoes to fit him, so, with a farm boy’s resourcefulness, he banged some nails into his regular shoes and crashed through the routines in those.
This seems a typical approach, for nothing appears to bother Terfel much. From an early age, he eradicated anxiety from his recitals by telling himself, “I can’t be nervous. It will only make my performance worse. So I am going to sing the hell out of this song. I am going to enjoy it and the audience is, too”.
I liked this, too: He opened with a sequence of Schubert’s Lieder to texts by Goethe. Spontaneous applause followed the first, a thrilling if slightly overemphatic account of An Schwager Kronos. Terfel politely asked everyone to refrain from clapping until the songs were over. The excessive coughing (in the audience) continued, meanwhile, and when it came to the encore, he accosted the perpetrators. Since the audience had done so much throat-clearing, he announced, it was time for them to sing. He kicked off The Hippopotamus Song, and soon everyone was roaring through “mud, mud, glorious mud”.
I like a guy who can take his art seriously, but not himself. Thanks, T. That made my day!