The baritone might not have an Elixir, but he’s learned a thing or two.

He cuts quite a dash on stage, but meeting Australian baritone Samuel Dundas the first words that spring to mind are self-effacing, introspective and analytical. Currently rehearsing for Simon Philips’ Aussie outback production of Donizetti’s rustic comedy, The Elixir of Love, Dundas has been cast as the swaggering soldier Belcore. Perhaps he’s not a natural swaggerer, more the bespectacled Clark Kent type, but there’s something about him that is undeniably attractive.

Still in his early 30s, Dundas has spent a great deal of his career trying to decide if he actually has one. Born in Sydney, he moved to Melbourne when he was about nine months old. “I’m a City boy”, he tells me, “and I did the classic sort of private school music – woodwind, violin all that kind of stuff. Music never really grabbed me though.” It was parental talent spotting that homed in on his vocal ability. “Mum had heard me singing around the house and suggested I should have singing lessons,” he says. “I thought that was the...