The Corner

Music

A Voice to Listen To

Sir John Tomlinson (Royal Opera House, via YouTube)

In something of a miracle, Sir John Tomlinson speaks almost as beautifully as he sings. I mean the quality of his voice — his speaking voice. And what he says. He is wonderfully eloquent, and you can learn a lot from him.

Sir John is an eminent British bass, now appearing at the Salzburg Festival. He took part in a series of conversations we have here, and we turned this session into a podcast — a Q&A, here.

We talked about his growing up in Lancashire; his development as a singer; what life is like as a bass; the mystery of Britishness in music; and many other things. Sir John was born in 1946, in a community with lots of music-making. Not just listening to the radio and that sort of thing — actual music-making, in church, brass bands, men’s choirs, etc. Is that all gone now? What difference does it make?

Anyway, you will enjoying listening to Sir John Tomlinson. And he does more than talk: He does a fair amount of singing in the course of this conversation — including the opening of Boris Godunov. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Worrisome Decline of Patriotism in America

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our country, but with patriotic sentiment at perhaps an all-time low, this year’s holiday is also an opportunity for us to remember how excruciatingly lucky we are to be American citizens. With nothing but bad news filling our screens in recent months, love of country has ... Read More
U.S.

The Worrisome Decline of Patriotism in America

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our country, but with patriotic sentiment at perhaps an all-time low, this year’s holiday is also an opportunity for us to remember how excruciatingly lucky we are to be American citizens. With nothing but bad news filling our screens in recent months, love of country has ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Against Trump

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Against Trump

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More