On the Couch with Michael Lampard

Michael-Lampard-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Michael Lampard?
I am often told that I am an old man trapped in a not-quite-so old man’s body. I’m an operatic baritone, currently based in Melbourne. I am a very proud father, a stationery nerd, and a visual artist who enjoys doing cartoon illustrations of my friends and colleagues.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
There are things I would love more time for, like teaching or composing, but right now I am very glad to be able to do my job and bring joy to audiences around Australia. After the last couple of pandemic years, I can not possibly dream of doing anything else at the moment.

Who inspires you and why?
I am constantly inspired by my colleagues. I am working with people I grew up watching on stage, and I am inspired by their skill and knowledge. I am also really inspired by people doing innovative things. Be it art, science, technology, food… the creativity of the human brain amazes me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would love to say some big grand gesture that would bring peace to the world, or end a pandemic, but in reality, working in our own communities to enact change and improve circumstances for those around us is important. If everyone made an effort to make a difference in someone else’s life, the world would be a better place. Also, I would love to advocate for music in schools. Every child should have access to music education, regardless of the financial situation they find themselves in. It’s important for neurological and cognitive development, and art and music in the world makes a huge difference.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I find any opportunity to go back to Tasmania. It’s where I grew up, my family is there, and it’s great to get out into nature. However, a bucket list travel spot for me would be Istanbul. The architecture of that city fascinates me, and I would love to see it all in person.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
A nice drive down the peninsula to Arthur’s Seat or out to Daylesford is always a good choice. Staying in the city, it’s a cafe hop, or drinks at a bar followed by a musical or an opera at one of our wonderful theatres. We are so lucky in Melbourne to have such a great variety of musical offerings all year round.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently in between reads and need to decide what is next. I recently read John Bird’s biography of Percy Grainger which was quite interesting.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve really been enjoying revisiting a few recordings I fell in love with as a teenager such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore’s wonderful Die Schöne Müllerin, or the amazing Giulini recording of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Happiness is?
For me, it’s simple things. Time with my daughter, a strong coffee, a nice fountain pen on good paper, or even just a few hours of quiet. After the last couple of years, I have found it important to find time for those things that truly make me happy. It’s not always so easy though.

What does the future hold for you?
Aside from the wonderful Opera Australia National Tour of The Barber of Seville (where I am playing Dr. Bartolo), I have some wonderful roles coming up in Melbourne which I am excited about. Life can change direction so quickly, and it’s great to be able to live in the moment, and feel those changes and work with them.  You never know what amazing opportunities or experiences lie just around the corner.

Michael can be seen as Dr. Bartolo in Opera Australia’s national touring production The Barber of Seville – which is currently touring throughout New South Wales. For more information and performance schedule, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Michael Lampard (supplied)