Christopher Lowrey: What’s the best breakfast food, and why?
Hadleigh Adams: It sounds really boring, but I don’t care! Haha: Rolled oats with blueberries. Oh, or an egg white omelette with mushroom and spinach.
Which fictional character (TV, movies, books, comics, etc.) do you most identify with?
Archer. Ok, yeah he’s a cartoon, and I don’t reeeeally identify with him as much as I think he’s awesome and in real life either want him to be my friend, or to be him.
Any talents/skills most people don’t know about?
I played bassoon for 12 years. I miss it a lot.
Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to be a singer?
There was actually! I was 10 and at the time I was listening to a lot of music theatre and then I found a record and our basement and I put it on the turntable and the need hit the record right at the very beginning of the aria “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca. It sounded just like music theatre to me but louder, and with more instruments, which when you’re a ten year old kid in a small farming town in New Zealand that’s pretty cool. Haha. But I was hooked. That music helped me to make sense of who I am.
How many roles have you prepared?
Bajazet is actually the 20th role I’ve prepared! I’m so happy to be back here in Sydney for it. It’s an amazing opera, visceral and gritty, and I’m excited to get it up on its feet for an audience.
Hadleigh Adams: What has been your most comedic onstage moment?
Christopher Lowrey: I was singing a revival of Acis And Galatea in Venice for which my costume included huge faux Elvisesque sideburns. On a matinee show, the makeup artist applied what seemed to be the wrong size sideburn extensions. After nervously interrogating my castmates about it, I was assured that I was losing my mind and that the hair extensions were the same as ever. In the opening chorus, all of us had a lot of dancing to do and in one conspicuous moment, one of my castmates, whom I hadn’t yet seen that afternoon, swung upstage to face me impishly gesturing towards my sideburns…on his face. As it became clear the whole cast had been in on the prank, I had to interpretively dance to the side of the stage to hide my tears of laughter.
Why do you perform opera opposed to any other singing art form?
As anyone who has spent more than a few minutes chatting to me will tell you, I can’t stop nerding out on baroque music and I never stop psychoanalysing people. Opera combines both of these unhealthy obsessions. Sorted.
What’s the worst costume you’ve ever had to wear for a show?
I’ve honestly never had a bad one! My favourite was a costume made for Oberon, the concept of which was all-black Elizabethan finery (ruff, doublet, jerkin, breeches, codpiece, crown of berries) that had been lived in for the five centuries since Shakespeare had written him into existence.
What is your favourite opera aria to sing and why?
“Dove sei, amato bene” from Handel’s Rodelinda. After a performance of this at the Royal College of Music in London, I received probably the most touching note of my life, informing me that this person had been surrounded by grown men in the audience crying during my aria. I felt as if I’d accomplished a performer’s highest aspiration, to marry singing with dramatic truth in order to allow an audience to find something vulnerable and hidden and precious within themselves, and to let it free, if only for a short moment, in a darkened theatre.
What is the greatest thrill about singing Tamerlano in this production of Bajazet?
I suppose it’s getting the chance to embody a character almost diametrically opposed to my own, to flirt with the capacity to be wicked, corrupt, depraved, that lies dormant in all of us.
Hadleigh Adams and Christopher Lowrey will be performing Pinchgut Opera’s Bajazet by Antonio Vivaldi.
Dates: 4 – 8 July, 2015
Venue: City Recital Hall