This is the second of our 10, quick fire questions for the Singing Holidays conductors. 10 probing and searching oneliners designed to reveal all the nooks and crannies of the people behind the baton…kinda!
Shifting uneasily in the inquisitor’s chair this time is the lovely and exceptionally talented conductor Robert Dean. Vocal professor at the Guildhall School of Music, former Opera Singer, conductor of the London Chorus and Philharmonia Chorus, vocal consultant for the Bristol Choral Society…I know, almost boringly brilliant isn’t he? Anyway, here goes!
Robert Dean. The Qs.
Best conducting experience?
Dream of Gerontius Festival Hall 2005 – Philharmonia Chorus and the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra playing on some of the instruments Elgar himself would have conducted.
Most embarrassing conducting experience?
None!! (seriously!) Although come to think of it there was that time when I “chased” a German soprano around the role of Fidelio at Scottish Opera….. best forgotten. At least we ended together.
If you weren’t a musician what would you like to be?
A chef (d’orchestre naturally!)
Of all the projects you have worked on what has made you most proud and why?
Conducting the 6 annual Come and Sings for the Art Room charity in Oxford. Using one’s talent to help others in whatever way, is what it’s all about as a performer and teacher. I like to think of myself as an enabler and if that also can raise money for others in the process, all the better.
What sort of animal do you see yourself as?
Who do you admire?
My Mother. At 86 she is still learning and reading to gain knowledge and is enthusiastic about everything she does. A real inspiration.
Do you have a secret skill we don’t know about?
That would be telling!
Apart from music, what else makes you happy?
A wonderful bottle of wine and good food.
Your favourite book?
Usually the book I am reading at any moment. At this moment it is “ALL HELL LET LOOSE” a history of the 2nd World War, harrowing and humbling in equal measure.
Your favourite plate of food?
Depends on my mood but my top two would have to be Peking Duck and Bacon and onion steamed suet roll. Two perfect taste sensations.