Tomorrow night sees the opening night of Lionel Bart’s masterpiece, ‘Oliver’, staring Simon Keenlyside as Fagin. Simon embarks on this exciting role debut and venture in a production conducted by Adam Rowe and directed by Jean-Pierre van der Spuy.
“Variety is a wonderful thing. To step away from the mainstream is something I’ve always, periodically, enjoyed. I think it’s something to do with taking a path that one never knew was there and nonetheless enjoying the views along the way. In addition, the return to the music I love most is then always a ‘Prodigal’ occasion for me” says Simon on his foray into musical theatre.
He continues, “It’s not that I don’t enjoy these fascinating diversions. I do. To meet a different group of people, passionate about singing, but using a different technique. To meet the wonderful sound designers of musical theatre. The directors and choreographers. To learn to use a microphone and twist it to one’s own advantage. To play with different colours in the dialogue. What’s not to like. It’s a wonderful adventure and I am enjoying ‘Oliver’ very very much.”
Simon will close his 2015/16 season with Germont Père/’La Traviata’ at the Munich Festival, his jazz programme ‘Blue Skies – Songlines to American Music’ at the Edinburgh Festival (11 August
), a Schubert recital with Malcolm Martineau
at the Wiener Konzerthaus (17 June
), and a recording of the Brahms ‘Requiem’ with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst, before making his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Don Giovanni at the start of the 2016/17 season (27 September – 22 October
Further performances of ‘Oliver’ take place on 3, 11, 12, 19, 23, 24 June and 1, 2 July. Find out more here
All photos by Robert Workman.