What would you do differently to what you do now?
I love to cook and a few years ago I started a course in bread and pastry making. If I weren’t lucky enough to be a working singer, I’d want to do something with food. It is one of my greatest passions.
Who inspires you and why?
My Mum. She’s got so much energy and is definitely the most generous soul I will ever know. She never stops learning and has a way more interesting social life than I do.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
At the moment I’m trying to minimise waste, consume less and endorse kindness as opposed to cruelty in the products I buy and foods I eat. This doesn’t mean that I’m a perfect model of environmental friendliness, but that I recognise that it’s possible for one person to make a difference. I would definitely encourage everyone to do what they can for the environment right now.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
The more of the world I see, the more convinced I am that the Australian coastline is incredibly precious, unique and rare. The east coast of Victoria and anywhere along the Great Ocean Road are my happy places.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Something outdoorsy. I love animals, walks and being near bodies of water, and I reckon we should all spend more time outside in general.
What are you currently reading?
The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. Also at any given time it’s safe to assume that I’m reading one of the Harry Potter novels. What can I say? I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione and I’ll never be able to say goodbye! I don’t love the films, but the books I can almost recite from memory – that’s how insanely cool I am.
What are you currently listening to?
I almost never listen to music around the house. I have a great appreciation for silence. However, a friend of mine recently pointed me in the direction of Fritz Wunderlich singing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and it is absolutely phenomenal. What an incredible singer he was! I also really enjoyed listening to Anne Sofie von Otter’s recording of Grieg’s Opus 48 when I was learning it earlier this year. Her performance of these magical songs completely captures Grieg’s deep love of nature and home, as well as his huge heart, and she sings them beautifully. And when I need to remember what it means to perform with pure, radiant joy, there is a live video recording of Whitney Houston performing Home from The Wiz that I love to watch. She was about 19 at the time, and it is the most mindful and musical singing I think I’ve ever seen. It’s on YouTube and everyone should watch it! What an incredible singer she was, too.
Ultimately unattainable but very, very worth the effort
What does the future hold for you?
I don’t know. That’s kind of the point of the future.
Brenton stars as Count Almaviva in Victorian Opera’s presentation of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at the Melbourne Recital Centre: 12 – 14 December 2019. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.
Image: Brenton Spiteri (supplied)