The British tenor is the quintessential lieder singer. He shares his cerebral approach to song with Maxim Boon.

I an Bostridge is the archetypal English tenor, and not just because of his flexibly agile, clarion tones. With his natural gift for dramatic artistry, clearly he follows in the footsteps of his vocal forbears Peter Pears and Philip Langridge. 

Bostridge also exhibits the classic British propensity for self-deprecation. “When my career really took off, I was singing things I wasn’t well prepared for,” he says over the phone from the UK. “I suddenly started getting a lot of attention before I’d really learnt to sing, so I had to learn to sing on the job. That was quite a challenge.”

Bostridge’s humility might seem false modesty, considering the accolades (he has no less than 13 Grammy nominations to his name) and critical adoration he has received since beginning his career in earnest in the mid-nineties. His 1994 operatic debut, performing the role of Lysander in Baz Luhrmann’s Indian-infused production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamfor Opera Australia at the Edinburgh Festival, was followed less than a year later by his Royal Opera House debut in Strauss’s Salome....