Singer Ian Bostridge is universally recognised as one of the greatest Lieder interpreters of today. Accustomed to being centre stage, Ian, like so many performers, spent much of 2020 and 2021 unable to take part in live music. It led him to question an identity previously defined by communicating directly with audiences. This enforced silence allowed Bostridge the opportunity to explore the backstories of some of the many classical works he has encountered over the course of his career, such as Claudio Monteverdi’s seventeenth-century masterpiece Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Robert Schumann’s popular song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben.
In conversation with literary journalist for the Guardian and Financial Times, Suzi Feay, he comes to Blackheath to discuss his new book ‘Song and Self: A Singer’s Reflection on Music and Performance’, based on his Berlin Family Lectures, delivered at the University of Chicago in the Spring of 2020, Ian guides us on a fascinating journey beneath the surface of these iconic works.