On the Couch with Alexander Lewis

Alexander Lewis Arts Review On the CouchWho is Alexander Lewis?
A very lucky guy who gets to travel to a bunch of awesome cities to tell stories through music.

What would you do di?erently to what you do now?
Work wise, not a whole lot. On a personal front, I can be a bit of a recluse, so I’d like to be more socially active. I’d like to improve my cooking skills (thank God my wife Chrissy is an AMAZING cook), and I’d also really like to be able to get to more Sydney Swans games.

Who inspires you and why?
I don’t have to look far for inspiration. (Warning; family brag coming…) My wife, Christina O’Neill (about to star in Vivid White for MTC), is the definition of an ideas woman. Her creativity is boundless and she is always searching for new experiences to share.

My parents, Michael Lewis and Patricia Price, have inspired me throughout my life. Growing up I always wanted to do what dad did. He has had an amazing career as an opera singer spanning over 40 years. If I can last that long I’ll be very happy. My mum has taught me most of what I know. She has been the head of the classical voice and opera program at WAAPA for 11 years (she is about to retire) and has inspired and guided countless young singers onto wonderful careers around the world.

My brother Ben is currently playing the Phantom in the West End. He and his wife Melle (currently performing a new Ayckbourn show in Manchester) are a constant reminder of how hard you have to work, how brave you have to be and that you always need to respect yourselves, your craft and your peers. Furthermore, they are the funniest people I know.

And lastly, but by no means least, my brother in law, Paul, and his wife Cally. They are both surgeons and not only caring for people every day but saving their lives! AND they are the most amazing parents! They are basically super-heroes.

What would you do to make a di?erence in the world?
Aside from living a greener lifestyle, I’m hoping to do some volunteering next year. When I’m not in production my schedule can be very flexible, so I’d like to use my spare time to connect with my community. My skills are pretty limited but I’m willing to give anything a go. I will reach out to shelters and volunteer programmes in my area and see if there is anything I can do to help them out.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Just one?! The great privilege of travelling for work is that I get to explore the world. I’ve had a couple of amazing trips with my wife but it’s pretty hard to past Paris as the number one destination. There are just so many beautiful things about that city and of course the food… and the wine… and the cheese…

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If they are in Sydney, I’d definitely take them to do the Bondi to Bronte walk and if they are sports people, I’d take them to watch the Sydney Swans play at the SCG. If they are visiting us in Melbourne, we’d have to go to the South Melbourne Market (it’s our favourite and they have the best croissants outside of Paris), watch a game at the MCG (preferable a Swans away game… tragic…) and may do a little alleyway bar-hopping!

What are you currently reading?
I’ve got a few on the go at the moment… I’m part way through The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s an absolutely ripping epic fantasy series. I’m also reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape.

What are you currently listening to?
In the evening there’s normally an old LP crackling away on the record player. Bon Iver, The National, Kermit Ruffins and Kurt Elling are never far away from my Spotify Playlist, and an odd rotation of Podcasts including: Here’s the Thing with Alec BaldwinUnder the Skin with Russell Brand and WTF with Marc Maron.

Happiness is?
Sharing a nice bottle of wine and getting completely lost in conversation with my wife. It’s the thing I miss the most when I’m away.

What does the future hold for you?
Most of my work in the next 12 months or so is in Australia, so I’m really looking forward to spending more time with friends and family and, of course, catching some footy games. First up, I’ll be performing in Opera Australia’s production of The Merry Widow in various parts of Australia and also reprising my roles in Barrie Kosky’s raucous production of The Nose – which we premiered at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden last year.

Alexander can be seen as Danilo Danilowitsch in Opera Australia’s production of The Merry Widow at Arts Centre Melbourne: 15 – 25 November 2017, before heading to the Sydney Opera House: 2 January – 3 February 2018. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Alexander Lewis (supplied)