MacIntyre Returns

I was surprised to find myself in Scotland. Admittedly, the fact that the plane was quite clearly destined for Glasgow International Airport should have prepared me. And in my own company I pride myself on skilfully visualising where I’ll be tomorrow, the day after, next week – vital skills in coping with an itinerant lifestyle. But as a result of a crowded schedule, and perhaps from diverting mental power to learning a fiendishly difficult score, Glasgow had crept up on me.

“The thing about this place is that it never changes – so when you come back, if it feels different, the only thing that can have changed in the meantime is you.”

My colleague was talking about Montepulciano in Tuscany – truly a town which hasn’t changed for centuries – but the principle remains broadly true for most places stable enough to sustain a professional opera company.  The last time I landed in Glasgow Airport at the start of a production period, I was single, and only a few days before had vowed that, whatever the future held, dating another singer was not part of it. The next morning I met my future wife – a singer – for the first time.

A huge proportion of my last decade has been spent here – to the extent, in fact, that I have always thought of Scottish Opera as my “home” company, despite having not a single drop of Caledonian blood in my veins. (Believe me, I researched this thoroughly, desperately keen to have an excuse to wear a kilt as daywear.) They, more than any other company, have taken risks on me at key points in my career – have had the faith to give me the sink-or-swim break that every artist needs at some point. I have met and lost loves here, forged friendships, conceived (and occasionally fulfilled) artistic dreams, and had countless unforgettable days and nights out. The people I have met and known here have been friends – more than that, family – to me. Some have come and gone, others remain. I strive to remember the debt I owe them all.

All things considered, it is good to be back.


About Paul Carey Jones

Paul Carey Jones is a Welsh opera singer. He should be writing about the current state of the classical music business but might well digress into science, politics, football or cheese. He has recently started a series of irregular posts along the broad theme of "Things they don't teach you at music college." Any suggestions or requests on this theme will be treated with feigned or genuine interest. You can contact him via comments here or at:
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One Response to MacIntyre Returns

  1. Susan Smith says:

    Oh my, you write as beautifully as you sing…<3 xx

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