Bad Boy Bryn; He Is One of the World's Best-Loved Opera Singers but Bryn Terfel Has an Evil Streak. and, He Tells Matt Thomas, It's on the Loose

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), October 9, 2009 | Go to article overview

Bad Boy Bryn; He Is One of the World's Best-Loved Opera Singers but Bryn Terfel Has an Evil Streak. and, He Tells Matt Thomas, It's on the Loose


Byline: Matt Thomas

FOR a man devoted to opera's bad boys, Bryn Terfel is a pretty nice guy.

At no point during our interview does the North Walian bass-baritone attempt to murder his way to the throne of a foreign land, or poison his love rivals or do any of the other things that a lot of his favourite characters seem to spend their time doing.

In fact, he comes across as a genial, generous, down-to-earth sort of bloke.

This is all the more surprising given that he's just got back from New York, where he's been fundraising for Welsh National Opera and is gearing up for a testing weekend singing Wagner and Verdi as part of the Wales Millennium Centre's fifth birthday celebrations.

And once that's out of the way, he's going to be touring the UK with his Bad Boys project celebrating some of opera's greatest villains.

Most people would probably be feeling slightly less well-disposed towards troublesome journalists with that sort of workload shaping up, but Terfel seems to be in a good mood.

It might be because he's looking forward, not just to the WMC's birthday but to an even more personal celebration as well.

"I'm going to be visiting Cardiff with the Bad Boys tour on my birthday," says the man who turns 44 on November 9. "So along with the WMC that's two birthdays in short succession.

"Of course, I'm looking forward to tonight and Sunday immensely.

"This evening is a gala with a performance of the third act of Wagner's Die Walkure with St Petersburg's Mariinksy Opera.

"It's not going to be a full operatic production, of course, but a concert recital. However you can't view the performance as being of a different quality or intensity.

"Also, it's going to be great having the orchestra up out of the pit and on stage with Valery Gurgiev conducting.

"He's a fiend for conducting. He never rests. His energy is boundless. He works in more countries, in more major opera houses, on more productions than almost anyone else in the world of classical music.

"It's a delight to have him here. "Then on Sunday we're doing Verdi's Requiem and I think that if we were just presenting the Dies Irae, people would be happy but they're going to be getting the whole thing. …

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