Wednesday, 25 July 2018

All about that bass...

I like to kid myself I know a thing or two about singing. I've certainly been lucky enough to do plenty including appearing - several times - at the BBC Proms... though only in the chorus, not on me own; not filling the Royal Albert Hall with such a rich, deep, dark-chocolate rumbling of a voice that I'm sure people must've thought there was a tube-train clattering by or perhaps someone had turned the organ on by mistake.

Actually, it wouldn't have been a mistake. Because the organ WAS on on Sunday night in South Ken. It's part of Mahler's monumental Eighth Symphony - the so-called 'Symphony of a Thousand' because - if it doesn't quite need that number of performers, it certainly sounds like it!

And one of those performers was a bass with the best bass voice I've heard in ages. He's also got the best back-story of any singer I'm come across lately. Because despite coming from a family of gospel singers in Atlanta, Robinson shunned music and enrolled at The Citadel Military College in South Carolina with the intention of becoming an NFL football pro.

He didn't have a singing lesson until he was - wait - 30 years old, having left college (and football) and worked in corporate sales for a while.

Now in demand in opera houses all over the world, he is only talked of as an 'unlikely' superstar by those who haven't heard him.

So, go on. Hear him. Take a listen. It's a voice to die for or - in my case - to do a Mephistophelean pact for. It's everything a bass voice ought to be (and mine - a baritone if ever there was one - isn't). But, oh, I wish...


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