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In advance of Jamie’s appearance with the Yorkshire Bach choir Jamie was inteviewed as part of their Artist Spotlight series. You can see the interview below or visit the Yorkshire Bach Choir Blog page to read more.

Artist spotlight – Bass-Baritone – Jamie Wright


 Our second featured artist for our forthcoming concert of Mozart and Haydn is Bass-Baritone Jamie Wright.  Jamie is also a graduate from the University of York and alumni of Yorkshire Bach Choir.  Recently awarded a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music he continues to study singing whilst singing with a number of ensembles. Jamie will be appearing in our performance of Mozart Requiem and Haydn Maria Theresa Mass as the bass soloist.
I began by asking Jamie to tell me a bit more about performing with Yorkshire Bach Choir:
Without a doubt, Bach Choir is one of the things about York I am most grateful for. While studying singing, it is easy to focus so much on future goals and to forget the reasons you decided to pursue it in the first place. Solo work is of course wonderful but there is a special something about performing fantastic music with a large group of people. It was that shared enjoyment and passion that really inspired me the most. I learnt a lot in my time in YBC, and am enourmously thankful for it.I’m guessing you’ve performed Mozart Requiem before, what do you interests you about this particular piece?
I absolutely love the Mozart Requiem, It’s one of those pieces that you feel you can always go back to and find something you hadn’t caught before. Its a piece of core repertoire for a reason and its going anywhere any time soon, and as a first entry into a piece, not much beats the ‘Tuba Mirum’ for the Bass (Just as long as its not too slow!).

What do you most enjoy about performing in York?
It’s a beautiful city and always a lovely place to come back to. The people are so much more friendly than in London too!

Musically, when have you felt the happiest?
Theres always that buzz when you first see an audience which is amazing. But I think for young singers it is so highly competitive, and easy to worry about whether your voice is ‘good enough’ or ‘in the right place’. When you step back and really just enjoy the music, special things happen and you can really connect with it without being hampered by anything else. My absolute favourite performances have been those when I can really clear my head and simply make the best music I can.

Who is the composer that you’d most like to meet?

What is your musical guilty pleasure?
A mixture of Classic Rock (Led Zeppelin mostly!) and electronic music.

Which leads me nicely into asking, which non-classical musician would you love to work with?
One of the great guitarists, Jimmy Hendrix or Jimmy Page I think. (We could have a trio called the three Jimmies!) They were the sort of performers who really understood the music they were making, I think popular music is missing that far more now.

When you’re not practising or performing, how else do you like to spend your time?
It’s easy to let singing take up every spare minute, particularly as a postgraduate. I love photography and its great to take a step back with something else that’s still creative.

How do you mostly listen to music?
Spotify. I know its hardly a great model of fairness for musicians but having that amount of music at your fingertips really is so invaluable, as a performer and just for something to get me through a long train journey! If theres music I know I will always listen to I will always download it or buy the CD.

What is your most treasured possession?
Embarrassingly, my phone. I use it for everything when I’m on the go.

If you hadn’t become a musician, what other job would you have liked to do?
Difficult one, I think as long as there is creativity involved I would be happy, I can’t imagine me doing anything behind a desk for too long! I did want to be a fighter-pilot for a long time, but my eyesight wasn’t good enough.

What keeps you awake at night?
Usually lines from whatever I’m learning at the time.

What would your super power be?
To be able to fly. (I’d save a lot on train fares.)

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Stephen Hawking, Meryl Streep and Boris Johnson.