On the Couch with Simon Lobelson

Simon Lobelson AAR On the CouchWho is Simon Lobelson?
Son. Husband. Father. Friend. Musician. Singing Actor. Teacher. In less abstract terms, I’m a husband and father of two young boys and an international operatic baritone. I began my career in the United Kingdom where I worked with companies such as The Royal Opera Covent Garden and English National Opera, and where some of my closest friends still live. I am also on staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Now living back home in Sydney, I am making my debut with Opera Australia this month as Gregor Samsa in Brian Howard’s Metamorphosis

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Geeking out being a classical CD reviewer on a desert island.

Who inspires you and why?
My parents for their endless well of love, kindness and support and for passing on to me their old-world values; my wife Hannah for her twenty years of endless patience and adoration; and my sons for their endless resilience and insistence on constantly living in the moment.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Insist that grammar once again be taught in schools, so that people can once again learn to communicate effectively and eloquently without resorting to abbreviations and emoticons to express what they’re really feeling. 🙂 More importantly I’d want politeness and courtesy to make much more of an appearance. We live in a world and especially a city where very few people seem to have any manners any more, yet everyone is constantly offended by everything.

Favourite holiday destination?
Florence. My wife and I first visited there by accident in our twenties when we needed to fill in a couple of days during our first European vacation. What an spectacular surprise it was! We went back again several years ago, and I still remember everything about its beauty so very clearly.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Most of our friends that visit are from the UK.  What’s not to like about Bangers and Mash and a pint at The Lord Dudley Hotel in Woollahra. Reminds me of my misspent youth.

What are you currently reading?
Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, Marc Estrin’s Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa, Gabriel Wyner’s Fluent Forever and Paul Wilson’s The Little Book of Calm. That is, when I’m not otherwise engaged reading Mr Men, Dr Seuss or books about dragons. These all live on my night table and frankly don’t get picked up nearly enough. But I’m getting through them, slowly.

What are you currently listening to?
My kids screaming at one another. Not Brian Howard’s Metamorphosis. Everything and anything that crosses my path and tickles my fancy. I would probably listen to a new album every day or two. I love cooking accompanied by bottle of wine and a new album to sample. By the time dinner’s ready the music’s enjoyed and the wine is gone. More specifically, on constant rotation at the moment are John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, Strauss Lieder sung by Jessye Norman, Beethoven’s String Quartet No.13 in B flat played by the Elias Quartet, Rostropovich’s Bach Cello Suites and Reimann’s Lear. 

Happiness is?
See 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8.

What does the future hold for you?
Being able to spend more time with my children, rather than spending my days being a bug.

Simon is currently starring as Gregor in Opera Australia’s production of Brian Howard’s Metamorphosis at The Opera Centre, Surry Hills until 29 September, before heading to the Merlyn Theatre – The Coopers Malthouse, Melbourne from 25 October 2018.

Image: Simon Lobelson (supplied)