Thursday, July 25, 2013

Greer Grimsley interview

You have now sung Wotan all over the world. What does this Ring mean to you?
I love this Ring. Since it is the first Ring that I ever did, it has huge sentimental value for me. I also believe in the production. I believe in the storytelling that we do. For all of its wonderful music, the Ring is also very text driven. The care that’s given to the text and to making sure that all intentions and relationships are clear—you don’t get that in all productions. That keeps me coming back.

Plus, I’m just so happy to be back in Seattle. I consider Seattle one of my home spots in the world.

When did it occur to you that someday you’d sing Wotan?
I had lots of folks telling me, ‘You might end up doing this,’ but it wasn’t until Speight gave me the opportunity to sing Telramund in Lohengrin. Prior to that, I was a victim somewhat of the very conservative nature of musical-vocal thinking in the United States: that you have to sing Mozart until you’re 45 and then you can do heavier things. That’s not how my voice worked. Early in my career on I was having trouble finding direction because that didn’t suit what I could do. It wasn’t until I sang my first John the Baptist that things clarified for me in terms of where I should find my niche in the opera business. Then that opened up other opportunities. And I would have to say, yes, of course I started thinking about Wotan, but I was thinking about other things as well, such as just getting hired. When Speight did ask me to do Wotan, I was ready to be asked. It happened exactly at the right time.


Greer Grimsley can be seen in Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Seattle Opera from August 4-25. Visit the Seattle Opera website for additional information or tickets.

1 comment:

  1. I had the great pleasure to meet Greer when he first sang at Seattle Opera in the early 90's, and I was working the box office. He's the sort of guy who picks up and arranges his own comp tickets, and I can't think of many others who would bother. A real gentleman, and a great baritone. I suspect the two go together.